Trolleys Collide in Boston; 50 Hurt

BOSTON (AP) - A trolley rear-ended another trolley that was
stopped between two underground stations in downtown Boston on
Friday night, injuring about 50 people, and one of the conductors
told police he was texting at the time of the crash, officials
said.

About 100 people were evacuated, and 49 were taken to area
hospitals, but officials said their injuries did not appear to be
life-threatening.

The 24-year-old operator of the moving trolley, who was the most
seriously injured, admitted to police that he was sending text
messages from his cell phone when the accident occurred,
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority general manager Dan
Grabauskas said.

The MBTA has stepped up enforcement of the rule against cell
phone use by operators following a trolley crash in Newton last May
that killed the driver of a trolley that collided with another.
Although there were reports the driver was using a cell phone just
before the crash, an investigation ultimately determined there was
no evidence she was using her phone.

Grabauskas said the operator of the trolley that struck the
parked trolley admitted to investigators who interviewed him in a
hospital he saw the red light ahead of him as he was texting, but
it was too late to stop.

"I can tell you it's difficult to contain my outrage at hearing
this," Grabauskas said.

Officials would not release the conductor's name, but MBTA
spokesman Joe Pesaturo said he had been on the job for less than
two years.

Most of the victims suffered cuts or skeletal injuries, said
John Gill, deputy superintendent of Boston EMS. Two people had
chest pains.

Some passengers had to be extracted from the trains, deputy fire
chief Richard DiBenedetto said. Others were taken from the station
on stretchers or backboards.

The collision occurred at 7:18 p.m. between Park and Government
Center stations. A westbound two-car trolley was stopped at a red
signal, waiting to enter Park Station, when it was hit by another
two-car trolley.

The damage was limited to the front of the moving train and the
rear of the train that was struck, Grabauskas said.

An investigation will try to determine why the moving trolley
did not stop. Grabauskas had no estimates on how fast it was
traveling.

Green Line service between the stations was shut down after the
crash.


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