Chicago CTA Bus Driver Cited For Fatal Bus Crash

Multiple news outlets have reported about the Tuesday’s CTA bus crash in downtown Chicago that killed one pedestrian and seriously injuring seven others. The driver allegedly came to a stop at the red light at Lake Street while heading North on Michigan Avenue, then inexplicably, drove through the red light and ended up on the sidewalk after trying to avoid another vehicle. All of this led to the death of a woman and the multiple injuries.

The driver, who started his job with the CTA in September, was was issued two traffic citations for the crash. The driver  began his shift Tuesday at 6:20 a.m., driving the Clark Street #22 bus till 8:20 a.m., Chase said. His next shift began at 2:31 p.m. on the 152 Addison and 135 Clarendon/LaSalle routes before he started driving the 148 Clarendon/Michigan route at 5:27 p.m., about 20 minutes before the collision was reported.

The question (or elephant in the room) that needs to be answered is why in the world did the driver run that red light?  There are no red light cameras or speeder cameras at that intersection. It is possible that the camera from the bus could shed some light on the incident. Also, more than likely, there has to be surveillance cameras from the neighboring loop office buildings, including the mammoth Illinois Center. Regardless, the CTA will be seeing multiple lawsuits. One for wrongful death from the family of the deceased and the others for the personal injuries of those who survived the bus accident.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago CTA bus accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

NTSB Blames CTA For Oversights In Last Year’s Blue Line Derailment

 

It’s been over a year since a CTA blue line train derailed in the early morning hours at O’Hare airport. The train flew off the tracks and up an escalator, injuring several passengers. Luckily there were no fatalities. It was reported multiple times that the conductor may have dozed off to sleep immediately prior to the train crash.

In response last week the National Traffic Safety Board (“NTSB”) held meetings in Washington D.C. to try and find some resolution as to what would cause the train to derail in such a manner. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported this week, the NTSB blamed the CTA for failing to prevent employee fatigue that they said was a factor in last year’s Blue Line crash. “The layers of protection designed to protect such an accident failed,” said Christopher Hart, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. The conductor was allegedly working her 12th straight day on the date of the train accident.

The investigators found that the conductor was suffering from “sleep debt” and was impaired by fatigue because of several factors.  “Chicago Transit Authority failed to effectively manage the operator’s work schedule to mitigate the risk of fatigue,” the NTSB said. Federal investigators recommended the Federal Transit Administration develop work scheduling programs that take into account the science of fatigue and include evaluation of the risks of fatigue. The federal agency found Haywood “was likely sleep-deprived,” though a CTA spokesman on Tuesday said she was not “exhausted.”

The NTSB also issued several other recommendations, including that the CTA install a transmission-based control system on all routes; such a system would automatically brake in times of emergency. The agency’s recommendation was extended to all transit agencies in the U.S. The agency also wants upgraded “event recorders” on each CTA car; those devices save certain information, such as the position of the controls that investigators might want to know after an accident.

The investigation also showed the middle track did not appear to have been originally intended to be used for arriving trains but had become commonly used for that purpose. That center track’s design, the NTSB found, “was not adequate to prevent a train from striking the bumping post near the end of the track.”

In summery, it is the NTSB’s opinion that the CTA should have worked out a better schedule to prevent an employee from working 12 straight days, which would have prevented a fatigued conductor behind the train’s wheels at the time of the accident. They also believed there could be a better safety brake system, which would have stopped the train on time and prevented it from derailing. The NTSB basically proved the injured passengers case for their attorneys as there were multiple items that could have prevented this accident. Again, we are lucky that no one died from this accident, but those who were injured should see compensation from the CTA for their medical bills, treatment, pain and suffering and lost wages as they were obviously at fault for this train accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a CTA bus accident or CTA train accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

No Injuries Reported In Last Night’s CTA Orange Line Derailment

There was CTA Orange line derailment
during rush hour yesterday in the downtown loop, which luckily, did not cause
any injuries to its passengers. The actual track, just south of the Van Buren
stop, suffered quite a bit of damage. When one of the wheels became derailed,
it cut the rail fasteners and wood atop the
inner track of the Loop ‘L’ structure, sending wood and steel raining to the
pavement from State to LaSalle along Van Buren.

No injuries have
been reported but due to the damage to the track, there were hours of delays
right during the busiest time of day for train commuters.

The CTA has not had
the best year, publicity wise, so far in 2014. Several months back, a blue line
train operator admitted to dozing off while pulling into O’Hare airport. As a
result, the train did not stop in time and the emergency brake did not activate,
causing the train to derail and crash up into the upstairs escalator.

Hopefully this will
be the last derailment we see in Chicago for a while. This derailment appears
to be a mechanical issue rather than human error. Though no official report
from the CTA has been released regarding the cause of the CTA train derailment. 

If you or someone
you love has been injured in a Chicago train accident or Chicago bus accident,
then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076. 

NTSB Reports That Blue Line Train Traveled Too Fast For Emergency Brake

The Chicago Tribune reported today that the National Traffic
Safety Board (“NTSB”) concluded that the CTA Blue Line crash at O’Hare airport was driving too fast for the emergency brake to properly
trigger and prevent the train accident. The NTSB’s preliminary report into the cause of the early-morning accident on March
24 said the distance between a bumper post at the end of the line and a trip
arm in the tracks designed to activate the train’s emergency braking system was
“too short to stop the train” due to its speed of roughly 26 mph.

Asked
why the CTA had not set a slower speed limit in the tunnel leading to the
station, or positioned the emergency-stop device further out from the platforms
where trains berth, safety board spokesman Terry Williams said “those questions
are part of our investigation and some of the issues we are looking into.’’

The CTA
two weeks ago lowered the speed limit of trains entering the O’Hare station
from 25 mph to 15 mph and moved the fixed trip arm further away from the bumper
post, to provide a total of 61 feet in stopping distance.

For
those following this case it appears that the CTA will be on the hook for
passenger injuries based on, at least, three main factors. First, the train operator
admitted she nodded off immediately prior to the train crash and the CTA is
responsible for the negligent acts of their employees. Second, the train
operator was driving the blue line at too high of a speed, which did not allow
the emergency brake to properly trigger. Again, the CTA is responsible for negligent
acts of its employees. Third, they set the speed limit too high for the
emergency brake to properly stop incoming trains. These are three allegations that can be made and seem the most obvious from the media reports, but as the investigation continues, there will likely be more allegations of negligence by the CTA. 

Although
this train accident was terrible and people were injured, I think there are some
positives that can come from this. First, no one died. This derailment and
crash was brutal as the video shows and the fact that there were no deaths and
few critical injuries is a minor miracle. Second, the CTA can now make the
proper corrections to its emergency braking system, which will hopefully
prevent this from happening again.

If you
or someone you love has been injured in a CTA train accident, Chicago busaccident or Chicago car crash, then call Chicago personal injury attorney,
Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

NTSB Issues Statement On Chicago Blue Line Crash

The Chicago
Tribune
 reported over the weekend that the National Traffic Safety
Board (“NTSB”) 
issued a report on the rogue “ghost train” that slammed
into another train at the Harlem stop. According to the NTSB, the ghost train
that did not have a conductor or any passengers
had
been left with the power still on in a storage yard by CTA workers.
 Apparently, the unoccupied CTA trains are “routinely left powered-up
while stored and with the brake setting that would allow movement.’’

The
runaway four-car train was parked in the yard, at the western terminus of the
Forest Park branch, with power to the propulsion system, lights and other
equipment activated for possibly days before the incident, said a source close
to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity.


The new developments surfaced as the NTSB issued
two “urgent safety recommendations’’ Friday addressing “the need for redundant
protection to prevent unintended train movements on the CTA system.’’

CTA
officials have yet to make any comments regarding this report from the NTSB. I
think everyone from the injured passengers to the CTA should be grateful that
there were not any life threatening injuries as a result of the accident. No
other details have been released about the type of injuries involved in this
train accident. I think the CTA should expect lawsuits on this matter and will
need to re-evaluate its practices for their parked trains.

If you
or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago CTA accident or Chicago trainaccident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a freelegal consultation at 312-588-3384. 

CTA Blue Line Collision Leaves Dozens Injured

As several local Chicago
news outlets, including CBS Chicago, reported Monday that two Blue
Line trains collided head on at the Forest Park stop, leaving dozens injured.
The puzzling part about this train accident is that one of the trains was
running without a conductor. 

Police
were investigating the possibility that somebody deliberately caused the train accident. However, CTA and federal officials believe the crash was likely an
accident. The National Transportation Safety Board was in charge of the
investigation. Suspicion that the train was stolen or hijacked was raised
because the train that caused the train crash only had four cars. Rush hour trains
typically have many more cars and would not have left the train yard with so
few cars.
 The CTA has confirmed
that the eastbound train was on the wrong tracks.

Of the 40 people that
were on the train sitting at the Forest Park stop, 33 were injured and treated
at local hospitals. 

The CTA will have
multiple questions to answer on how such an accident occurred. Apparently
surveillance cameras in the area where the rogue train would have taken off
were not working. I will update this once more questions are answered about
this unusual train accident.

Should you or someone
you love become injured in a Chicago train accident or Chicago bus accident,
then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384. 

Metra Train Strikes Car In Morgan Park

A Rock Island Metra train struck a car in Morgan Park this morning. Luckily no one was hurt but this has to be cause for concern.

Rock Island District Metra train No. 406 struck a vehicle at 111th Street, possibly near South Hale Avenue, according to Metra spokesman Tom Miller.

The crash apparently occurred at a low speed, according to Lt. Tom McNicholas of the Morgan Park District Police, whose headquarters are located two blocks from the 111th Street Metra Station.

McNicholas speculated that a car stalled on the tracks may be to blame since trains are “normally flying by” at that area, but said that officials are still trying to uncover the circumstances behind the train crash.

No injuries were reported and train 406 is on the move but running about 45 minutes late, according to Miller.

To read the complete story, click here.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an Illinois car accident, Illinois truck accident, Metra accident or CTA accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

2 Metra Employees Suspended After Door Incident

There is trouble again with doors with another Chicago area train. You may recall, I discussed an incident that took place on the CTA Red Line. This time a Metra train leaving the city had problems with one of its’ doors.

Metra has suspended two longtime crew members after a 4-year-old boy’s foot was caught in the closed door of a commuter train leaving a station.

The boy, D.J. Newton, was not hurt Saturday while exiting a train car, said his mother, Eileen Kermer, 31, of Worth, who described her terror as she desperately yanked her son’s foot from the door, leaving his boot inside.

“With all my might, I pulled him as hard as I could,” Kermer said Monday. “I didn’t care if he lost his leg at that point or anything. I had to get him out of there.”

The crew members have been removed from service with pay pending a formal disciplinary hearing, Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said.

“Our preliminary review of this situation would indicate the crew did not follow the rules,” Pardonnet said. “It appears there was something that went very wrong.”

Metra also sent out a bulletin Monday reminding crews of proper procedures. Crew members are required to make sure doorways are clear of passengers before closing them, Pardonnet said. This includes a “second check” by a crew member before the last doors close.

Pardonnet said Metra coach doors reopen if something gets lodged in them. But it appeared the boy’s foot was too small for the door to respond, she said.

To read the complete story at the Chicago Tribune, click here.

Luckily the little boy was not hurt but it is troubling that two (2) incidents have occurred within a few months. Hopefully the CTA and Metra can rectify these problems.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a CTA accident, Metra accident, Illinois car accident or Illinois truck accident, then call Attorney Aaron J. Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

CTA Train Door Closes On Stroller, Throws Todler On Train Tracks

The Chicago Sun-Times recently reported about an incident that occurred on the Chicago Red Line. A woman was attempting to enter the train with her toddler and stroller in tow. The doors of the train apparently shut on the stroller, eventually leading to the toddler being thrown out and onto the tracks. The woman was able to retrieve her child immediately and both are apparently unharmed.

A preliminary investigation showed the train’s doors were working properly, said CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney. “We don’t know the cause. We want to do more extensive testing.”

“The door has sensitive edges that, when pressure is applied, are supposed to open,” said Gaffney. “The procedure is that the operator is supposed to look outside the motor-cab window and make sure it’s clear. The operator also is supposed to look at signal lights for each train door [to make sure they’re closed].”

Kelly said the operator “did not see anybody caught in the doors and [got] the proper signal that the doors were closed to proceed.”

A supervisor relieved the operator at the Lawrence station, Kelly said. A northbound train operator then told the supervisor that two rear doors on the southbound train were not working, Kelly said.

The supervisor bypassed the system to allow the doors to open, Kelly said.

To read the complete story, click here.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a CTA train accident or bus accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.