Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. Jan 20th, 2018, 12:22am
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   The Mainline
   Rail Safety
(Moderators: prostock19, CP8673, , Pyronova, cn2220, BNSF_1088)
   Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint
   Author  Topic: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013  (Read 218 times)
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« on: Oct 20th, 2013, 2:02am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Link to news article:
 
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Two-injured-by-BART-train-driven-during-strike-4909974.php
 
One of these two was a man I had worked with several years ago and on more than one occasion.   The NTSB will investigate.  I have thoughts, but I will not speculate publically, nor at this time give his name.  He was the one  referred to as the Contractor.  This happened on a surface section where the BART tracks are parallel to a road.
 
At this point I have far more questions than answers.


Logged
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #1 on: Oct 20th, 2013, 8:46pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

How very sad.

Logged
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #2 on: Oct 20th, 2013, 11:27pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

an update:   http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/10/20/details-emerge-about-fatal-bart-accident-victim/
 
The names have now been published.  The NTSB people are now in town and the trainset has been moved.
 
Despite the men being described as if they were maintenance workers, they were not.  They were both highly educated and experienced technical professionals.
 
The men were Lawrence E. Daniels and Christopher Sheppard.  Larry was described as the "contractor" but his contract was a professional services contract.  Christopher Sheppard was a Senior Track Engineer for BART.  Whatever had them out on the track was something out of the ordinary.
 
Presumably as part of the investigation everything was left in place until sometime today, including the men's bodies.  Apparently the men were killed instantly.  It looks like both bodies were covered and left on the track at places where they landed until sometime today.  From the views on the TV, I can't see that it was done otherwise much as it seems wrong to have simply left them laying out there.  The train was moved about 4:00pm today.  Nothing said about when the bodies were moved.  I would certainly hope that was done first.  


« Last Edit: Oct 21st, 2013, 4:52pm by George_Harris » Logged
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #3 on: Oct 21st, 2013, 11:55pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

If BART hadn't been on strike, I expect things would have moved faster. ME would have photographed things, figured out where they were when hit, measured the distance to the remains and then the bodies would have been removed from the scene.  
 
Since there was a strike going on, treated more like a crime scene and because there were going to be outsiders involved (NTSB), they waited till they got there. Let them do THEIR picture taking and measuring, and we'll keep ours for the courthouse, just in case. Or at least my prior profession suggests that may be the explanation.
 
One of the stories said they were examining a "dip" in the track, which might suggest - who knows what. I have a feeling nobody told the train crew anybody was on the line, and nobody told them that there was going to be a movement. Curst sad for all involved.


Logged
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #4 on: Mar 13th, 2015, 11:54pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

There may be more, but I have found this:
 
http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Documents/SIR1403.pdf
 
Look on page 23 for the start of a two page discussion on this event.  I am not really satisfied with what I read there.  Best I not say why publicly.  People like Clyde and Vern can read it and draw their own conclusions.


Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #5 on: Mar 14th, 2015, 9:54am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

George - Clyde - Lodge Members -  
 
Read this two page excerpt you located. Indeed! Yes, your writer does have some "issues" with the way it reported.
 
.......................Vern........................


Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #6 on: Mar 14th, 2015, 2:28pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

A couple of thoughts:
 
Why was the supervisor not in the cab?
Was the horn blown or not?  If blown how long before impact?
Was the time between hitting emergency brake 10 seconds as one said or less, as the other did not quote any time?
 
One person I know commented that as the first move after an out of service period the train should have been moving at restricted speed, but it appears to have been moving under automatic control.  There was no comment made relative to this issue.
 
I had know Larry for over 20 years, and last seen him less than 2 years before this event.  Even though in his 60's he was still reasonably fit for what he was doing.  I cannot picture it taking him more than a second or two at the most to get out of the track.  
 
If you know you are about to be hit by a train, you get out of the way whether graceful or not, whether you will land in a ditch, on rocks, into thorns or anything to prevent being hit by a train.
 
Again, I better shut up, and may have said more than I should already.


Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #7 on: Mar 14th, 2015, 2:55pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

George - Clyde - Lodge Members -
 
Noted your link to what is a large publication. The BART comments take not much more than one page.  
So, does this suggest there is a report from NTSB, dealing solely with this event?
 
It does raise questions about what is more detail on actions of supervisor? What of the reported fact the  
movement subject to a verbal "Train Order"? Noted it was somewhat useful to the explanation the line  
"on strike" at time of this tragic incident. But, there are obvious implied questions in that, too?
 
............................Vern........................


Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #8 on: Mar 14th, 2015, 5:58pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Vern:
 
If there is a separate NTSB report I have not found it.  If there is, I would like to see it.
 
Knowing who these guys were, they were not your maintenance guys, but top technical guys, I suspect they were taking the opportunity to take a daylight look at something new and different that had been applied to a turnout in the area and were walking back from that point to the place where they could get off the line. There is a fairly busy major road parallel to and just west of the BART tracks, so any train noise would be masked by the road noise.  However, the BART horn has a completely unique sound.  


« Last Edit: Mar 14th, 2015, 6:00pm by George_Harris » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #9 on: Mar 15th, 2015, 9:09am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

George - Lodge Members -  
 
OK! Following you on this one. Your faithful correspondent wonders, therefore, about comments attributed to the trainee operator.  
IIRC, a statement he thought he saw something out in the distance. Took no actions to get the train out of "automatic" mode, and  
did not immediately start to sound horn. Yes, it could have been a couple stray goats. Even from considerable distance, however,  
most doubtful one should have dismissed it may have been people on the track.
 
In any case, a complacency the line was out of service that day. The train movement governed, nevertheless, subject a verbal "Train  
Order". So there was a lot of inept going around here?
 
..............................Vern.........................


Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #10 on: Apr 18th, 2015, 6:15pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Found the NTSB Brief on this. It doesn't really tell me much, I fear.  
 
http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/RAB1503.pdf
 
Hope the link works OK


Logged
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3833
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #11 on: Apr 18th, 2015, 11:39pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Yep, saw this report yesterday, but did not get around to saying so here.   It is very, to put it politely, disappointing.  There are some references linked in the report, but they either go nowhere or bring you back to the same report.  
 
It does mention a period of something on the order of 4 seconds at least time that the people were visible.  4 seconds at 60 mph =  88 ft/sec x 4 = 352 feet.  Surely you can tell that what you see is a person at that distance.  If you are a reasonably fit 66 year old man, which the one I knew was, can you move 10 feet in 4 seconds?  Of course.
 
What I see in this report is a rather common conclusion, which is, blame the dead.  They can't argue their case.  Regardless of what the report says, these guys had every right to believe that they had the track to themselves, and anything that was moving would be moving slow and under manual control.


Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #12 on: Apr 19th, 2015, 8:41am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

George - Clyde - Lodge Members -  
 
Ah! So here we have one public agency with need to comment on practices of another public agency. The Washington DC classic mode?  
It is thought rude and in poor taste to publish tacky comments about observations of operations practices. So, much consideration of what  
Mother always used to say, "...if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it!..."
 
..........................Vern.....................


Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #13 on: Apr 23rd, 2015, 5:51pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Apr 19th, 2015, 8:41am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)
George - Clyde - Lodge Members -  
 
Ah! So here we have one public agency with need to comment on practices of another public agency. The Washington DC classic mode?  
It is thought rude and in poor taste to publish tacky comments about observations of operations practices. So, much consideration of what  
Mother always used to say, "...if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it!..."
 
..........................Vern.....................

 
Indeed, Vern. Indeed. Though NTSB reports do take other 9especially state or local) agencies to task at least occasionally. In this one, they seem to have decided that BART changing clearance procedures will prevent recurrence - but they seem to still miss the "how come" nobody did anything but run over the folks on the track.


Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #14 on: Apr 24th, 2015, 9:37am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Clyde - George - Lodge Members -
 
There no specific finding of any wrong doing? Surprise! We may wonder why that the case. Must have a lot to do to avoid  
attracting some good Civil Court Tort Lawyers?
 
BAH! A "wrong doing" finding a sign of the imminent Apocalypse? Get the Four Horsemen on alert! They are all Union, and  
know the Contract...
 
..........................Vern.........................


Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #15 on: Apr 24th, 2015, 3:07pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Apr 24th, 2015, 9:37am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Clyde - George - Lodge Members -
 
There no specific finding of any wrong doing? Surprise! We may wonder why that the case. Must have a lot to do to avoid  
attracting some good Civil Court Tort Lawyers?
 
BAH! A "wrong doing" finding a sign of the imminent Apocalypse? Get the Four Horsemen on alert! They are all Union, and  
know the Contract...
 
..........................Vern.........................

Actually NTSB (supposedly) is just a fact-finding agency, and all that. Extract from boiler-plate in accident reports:
  
The  NTSB  does  not  assign  fault  or  blame  for  an  accident  or  incident;  rather,  as  specified  by  NTSB  regulation, “accident/incident investigations are fact-finding proceedings  with  no formal issues and  no adverse  parties and  
are not conducted  for the purpose of determining the rights or liabilities of any person.”49  C.F.R.  §  831.4. Assignment of fault or legal liability is not relevant to the NTSB’s statutory mission to improve transportation safety by  investigating  accidents  and  incidents  and  issuing  safety  recommendations.  In  addition,  statutory  language prohibits the admission into evidence or use of any part of an NTSB report related to an accident in a civil action for damages resulting from a matter mentioned in the report.
49 U.S.C. § 1154(b).
 
 
If you think the fats laid out and conclusions reached will not be used to develop a case by the law profession, please pull the other leg, that one has come off in your hand...


« Last Edit: Apr 24th, 2015, 3:12pm by ClydeDET » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #16 on: Apr 25th, 2015, 8:37am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Clyde - George - Lodge Members -  
 
Right! Your writer, long time back, became familiar with the precise role of NTSB, and it to act as a finder and reporter of facts.  
Also, the letter of the regs rules to avoid remarks which might be held as supporting conclusions at law.
 
Let's take one of its reports, however. A reader may infer there may be some statements, which altogether, hint at direction of  
any legal actions. This back to the original documents? Evidently, it is vital that at time of preparation of report, the selection  
of which observed and documented facts should be in its final work?
 
.................................Vern...........................


Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4801
Re: Two men killed by BART train Oct. 19, 2013
 
« Reply #17 on: Apr 25th, 2015, 2:48pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

The reports often contain statements and a good deal of information that would guide a competent attorney in the direction of finding facts and witnesses that could then be deposed. If the report is issued in time to beat the statute of limitations. The Briefs are less helpful (including this one), but would still offer some ideas about where to go and also how to draw pleadings.
 
If i still packed a Bar Card (which i don't and won't ever again, I'm a free man now, yes i am) and this had happened in Tejas and i was hired to sue somebody (yes, yes, a heck of a pile of "ifs" and "ands", I know) this brief would surely offer considerable help in deciding who to name as parties defendant and what to accuse them of. And some suggestions as to where to hunt additional information.


Logged
Pages: 1  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint

« Previous topic | Next topic »