Light rail operator hurt in collision with tractor-trailer in Cockeysville

Operator, some train passengers sent to hospital

drivers of truck, car involved were unhurt

March 23, 2010|By Jessica Anderson and Michael Dresser

A light rail train conductor was taken to a trauma center after a crash with a tractor-trailer Tuesday morning in Cockeysville that disrupted service between Timonium and Hunt Valley.

The accident happened about 9:20 a.m. According to Baltimore County Police spokesman Mike Hill, a tractor-trailer heading north on Gilroy Road attempted to make a right turn against a signal into McCormick's Hunt Valley plant when a southbound light rail train struck the truck, pushing it down the tracks and splitting the truck's trailer in half. A gray Honda driving behind the tractor-trailer was also caught in the collision. Hill said the intersection is not gated.

The train operator was trapped for 25 minutes. She was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore once she was freed, and Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman Jawauna Greene said the woman's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The MTA is withholding the operator's identity until her family can be notified, she said. The drivers of the truck and car were unhurt and refused treatment. Hill said he did not know the identities of the drivers as of late Tuesday.

There were also seven passengers and three fare inspectors aboard the train, Greene said; some of them were transported to Greater Baltimore Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

Hill said it seems all safety signals were working properly before the crash.

"It appears at this point that the safety signals were in operation and were functional," he said.

Greene said that the lead car of the train, however, is believed to be a total loss. Trains on the line would be turned around at Timonium, she said, and the MTA has set up a bus bridge between there and Hunt Valley. Tuesday afternoon, an MTA spokeswoman said it was unclear when service would return to Hunt Valley.

The crash is under investigation by the MTA police, the Baltimore County police and the agency's safety office, Greene said. She said it was too early to say what had led to the collision.

"We're just really thankful that the operator is alive and OK," she said.

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