The light rail trains run by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) efficiently transports riders throughout the city with lines mainly starting in the downtown area, extending to the Castro, Mission, and Sunset districts. They act as alternatives through these heavily populated and popular San Francisco districts to the regular MUNI buses. With the introduction of the CLIPPER card payment system, riders are able to get on the light rail trains using any door to pay for their ride, instead of bottlenecking the train by only entering through the front, where drivers are located.
These light rail trains, also referred to as metro trains, travel at an average 9.6 mph and have their own train tracks on regular roads as to help fight off traffic. These trains, while a great method of transportation, have also seen its fair share of accidents, from those caused by errant automobile drivers, to those involving bicyclists, and even an incident where a metro train rear-ended another train. Due to the size, force, and overall might of these trains, these accidents have led to a good number of serious injuries, and even death.
On Saturday, July 13, 2013, an accident involving a metro T-train and a van fortunately only resulted in minor injuries. It occurred just shortly before 1:00 p.m. in the Bayview District. The van and light rail train were travelling parallel to one another along Third Street when the van attempted an illegal left turn onto Evans Avenue right in front of the train. The vehicles collided and there are a reported total of 19 injured. Most were sent to San Francisco General Hospital. Of the 19, eleven are receiving treatment for minor injuries and eight people have suffered from moderate injuries. A witness stated that she saw the van veer to the right and knock down a light pole, effectively shorting the overhead line that electrifies the train. The pole fell and shattered a window on the train.
Both the van and rail train are heavily damaged but luckily the metro tracks were left unscathed. Investigators will turn to looking at nearby surveillance videos before an official report is made but police are currently blaming the driver of the van for causing the crash. The driver of the train will be tested for drugs and alcohol as per standard protocol.
Luckily, this accident, even with the extent of damage done to both vehicles, did not cause any serious injuries. The injuries that did occur will need proper treatment and victims should deservingly receive compensation for their medical expenses. Cases like this are interesting in how fault will play out, and which party will be responsible for the damages caused. It can be difficult for victims to know what next steps they should take. The Brod Firm has experience working with clients who sustained injuries involving SF MUNI. Our firm can help you recover compensation for your injuries as you recover from the accident. Call today to speak with us about how we can help you.