Muni Crash Appears to be Operator Caused - Personal Injury Legal Blogs Posted by Robert E. Cartwright, Jr. - Lawyers.com

Muni Crash Appears to be Operator Caused

Many people in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond have heard of the recent troubling Municipal Railway crash, which took place on July 18, 2009 at the West Portal Station in San Francisco. The incident, which happened Saturday at about 3 p.m., injured approximately 48 people, 4 severely and 20 were seriously injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board is actively investigating the crash.  According to early reports the L-Taraval train was traveling between 20-23 mph at impact.

Witnesses described a confused scene following the crash, which Muni spokesman Judson True said occurred when an L-Taraval train smashed into the back of a K-Ingleside train near the station’s boarding platform at the West Portal Station. 

The crash was so violent that many people nearby felt and heard the jarring effect of the crash and thought it might be an earthquake.

The sheer force of the collision crushed the front window of the L-Taraval train and crumpled its steel nose. The shattered windshield, apparently made of safety glass, stayed in place, though that had little effect for many of the injured on board.

Both trains were headed in the outbound direction, but the K-Ingleside train was apparently stopped when the collision occurred, authorities said.  All of the facts are still being investigated and witness statements are being compared.

The most seriously injured was the driver of the L-Taraval train, who was conscious when paramedics arrived, said Deputy Fire Chief Pat Gardner. However, three riders were also severely injured, authorities said. Those injuries were not life threatening, and all four patients were in stable condition at San Francisco General Hospital.

The incident took a bizarre turn when it was reported that the operator of the L-Taraval train either passed out or was otherwise unconscious immediately prior to impact. In a recent article, The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the operator had a medical condition that may have contributed to his losing consciousness. 

At least one eye witness said she saw the operator slumped over the controls immediately prior to impact, which is very important since the operator was in control of the train for nearly 30 seconds before the collision.  Ted Turpin of the NTSB said, "Our data show that the L train switched from automatic to manual mode while stopped in the tunnel, then proceeded toward the platform," Turpin said.

This incident is troubling in the wake of recent accidents on the Muni lines and in other cites particularly Washington, D.C. where 9 people lost their lives (and many other injured) due to neglect.

If you have been hurt in the recent Muni crash, please call the bus accident lawyers of the Cartwright Law Firm at 415-433-0444 and Rob, or one of our experienced trial lawyers will personally meet with you to see if you have a legal case.

Remember, you have legal rights which must be exercised in accordance with California law in order to recover for your injuries.  We can help you make important legal decisions if you have been injured.

Rob Cartwright

 222 Front Street 5th Floor

San Francisco, California (CA) 94111 

415-433-0444 | 888-433-0440-Toll Free

If you have been hurt in the recent Muni crash, please call the bus accident lawyers of the Cartwright Law Firm at 415-433-0444 and Rob, or one of our experienced trial lawyers will personally meet w

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Robert E. Cartwright, Jr.

Licensed since 1982

Member at firm The Cartwright Law Firm, Inc.

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