City-owned truck slams into light rail train Workers were installing a surveillance camera

January 28, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A city worker's attempt to install a police surveillance camera in Baltimore went awry yesterday when a truck on which he was working lurched forward into the side of a light rail train.

Several passengers aboard the train, which derailed, complained of neck and back injuries. Accounts put the number of injured at between four and 20.

The city employee fell or jumped from the truck's elevated bucket; a second worker was hit by the rolling vehicle.

The noon accident near the Mount Royal station at Maryland Institute, College of Art forced officials to close part of the rail line for 2 1/2 hours. Riders were transferred by bus between stops at Camden Yards and West North Avenue.

Details were sketchy yesterday, and neither state Mass Transit Administration nor city Department of Public Works officials could say why the truck abruptly moved forward. Police said they were investigating the brakes.

Blair Kirssin, 26, of Baltimore, a passenger on the train, said he believes the extendable arm that links the train to overhead power lines clipped the bucket, dragging the truck into the passing train.

Kirssin said it felt like the train "was going to flip over. I didn't know what happened. People were all looking around. You could tell it was something bad."

Kirssin, 26 was taken by ambulance to Maryland General Hospital, where he was treated for back and neck injuries.

The impact of the 2-ton cherry picker derailed the 20-ton rail car. The truck's hood, engine and windshield were folded in.

The injured city workers were identified as Dennis Weisel, 40, and Mike Stevenson, 47. Both were treated for minor injuries at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and were expected to be released last night.

Weisel was standing in front of the truck, and Stevenson was about 6 feet up in the elevated bucket. No one was in the truck cab, and one unidentified worker was directing traffic. Public Works officials could not say whether proper procedures were followed.

Pub Date: 1/28/98

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