Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Share Stories  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |  Get Gridlock:    Twitter |    Facebook  |     RSS   |  phone Alerts

Crash on the Red Line is second one in a week

Metro officials say a maintenance vehicle carrying 20 workers hit a rail truck on icy tracks, causing a domino effect crash that damaged at least four vehicles Saturday night.

The accident occurred between the Grosvenor-Strathmore and Medical Center stations on Metrorail's Red Line. Metro says there were no reported injuries, but the crash came less than a week after two workers were hit by a maintenance truck and died.

The Washington Examiner reports that the Tri-State Oversight Committee was informed of the most recent accident on Monday, but the independent group's chairman says Metro should have notified the committee about the crash within two hours. Metro says the work continued after the crash.

Jeff Garrard, 49, of Clarksburg, and Sung Duk Oh, 68, of Montgomery Village, were struck on Jan. 26 while working on the tracks near Rockville Station. Garrard died at the scene. Oh died at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating that accident, along with one that occurred in a Northern Virginia rail yard in November and the June 22 Red Line crash.

A Post investigation over the past seven months uncovered problems at the Tri-State Oversight Committee, which is supposed to monitor safety on the Metro system but lacks any direct regulatory authority. In response to the articles, local and federal lawmakers have demanded changes, and Metro officials have vowed to work more closely with the oversight committee.

Citing last year's deadly Metro crash as part of the impetus, the Obama administration on Monday proposed creation of a new federal transit safety program that would set and enforce safety standards for subway and light rail systems. The 2011 budget proposal sent to Congress includes $30 million to establish the program at the Federal Transit Administration.

-- From Associated Press and staff reports

By Michael Bolden  |  February 2, 2010; 8:50 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , transit  | Tags: Metro, metro safety  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Metro anti-terrorism exercise at Union Station
Next: Snow removal information for the D.C. region


This should be the HEADLINE on the front page of national news.

The number of fatalities should be enough to get the Tri-State Oversight Committee AND the National Transportation Safety Board investigated THOROUGHLY and SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Posted by: properbostonian1 | February 2, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

At least the DC metro area has two things that provide endless laughs for everyone: Metro and the Redskins. Bwaaahaaaaaaa

Posted by: checkered1 | February 2, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Metro, what's going on?!?!?! I'm about another report away from boycotting riding Metro all together if this doesn't stop!

Posted by: cbmuzik | February 2, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Fire everyone, and start over........

Posted by: jckdoors | February 2, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse


Oh wait, we're talking about metro. I take that back.

Posted by: metroman1 | February 2, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh well. They got a fare increase so I guess they can afford to go out and destroy some property.

School systems sometimes cancel school on snowy days to avoid damage to the school buses from traffic accidents.

Perhaps Metro should consider a similar policy.

It's good nobody was killed. We'll see in a few years of there are any disability claims.

Posted by: RedBird27 | February 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

There are too many bureaucrats being paid to sit on their butts at Metro headquarters, while at the same time, not enough money is going into maintenance and safety.

Of course, part of this is due to racial politics, and particularly reverse racism. White people have only a slim chance of getting employed by Metro Headquarters. Several years ago, with numerous law review articles and citations, I applied for a position as an attorney at Metro Headquarters. I was rejected. Later, I read that an English tutor had to be brought in to Metro to teach the attorneys how to write!!!!!!


Posted by: grantpaten | February 2, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

If the Metro GM known as Catoe is still there, the Board should consider no retirement package for him whatsoever due to continuing safety management ineffectiveness on his watch. We might expect him to say the usual: this was a freak incident. The the package is already committed, legal action should be taken to claw it back on behalf of the citizen-taxpayers and all riders. Enough is enough.

Posted by: axolotl | February 2, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@grantpaten... is it reverse racism or non-white applicants who happen to be equally if not more qualified than yourself. What they should consider is a new group of safety professionals and a vamped up preventive maintenance program.

Posted by: whatever15 | February 2, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Kudos for whatever15!!!

Posted by: Tonihall1 | February 2, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Let’s make some very important observations. First thing is that nothing will change unless they break up the Cronyism (Good Old Boys network). Catoe, Francis, Kubicek, Taborn and what in heaven’s name is Darvin Kelly doing in this position. Please investigate, investigate, and investigate. Workers are afraid to talk in fear of their contracts not being renewed or being re-assigned. They all have to go.

Also, McElveen, Boyd and Caton also have to go. Can someone tell me Why in GOD's name would you have NYCT on the review panel for safety when they themselves have lost more workers than any agency combined and at the NYCT December 16th Board meeting they embarrassed and disgraced Ms. Boggs whose husband was killed by a NYCT train. Nothing will change unless you get rid of these people they have held back every effort to restore safety for the workers.

Posted by: transitsolutions | February 2, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

How is it possible David Kubicek, who as all but destroyed MetroRail in the last year, still has a job. Worse yet he was promoted in December.

Workers are dying. Accidents are occurring on MetroRail at a rate unheard of anywhere else in the USA. Kubicek's "It's all about me" culture has destroyed morale. There is no trust left. It's an accident a month, an accident a week enough to get a knowledgeable railroad guy brought in to fix the problems.

"Something went horribly wrong this morning," Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Metrorail system said" again. And Again. And Again.

Let me recount:
Spring, 2009, Metro Safety Chief barred independent safety monitors from the Tri-State Oversight Committee from conducting safety inspections while the trains were in service because, “it was not safe for them to walk along the tracks.”

June, 2009 - Signal malfunction near Ft. Totten, work order to fix issued, no action.

June 22 - Worst train wreck in Metro's history at signal malfunction location, 9 dead, 80+ injured. Catoe’s response: “We need new trains, not my fault.”

August 10 – Metro worker killed by work train. Catoe – “I’m the safety GM, not my fault.”

September 10 – Another Metro worker killed by train. Catoe – “Metro is going to establish a NEW culture of accountability, so I can blame my underlings. Not my fault.”

November 27 – Train wreck in yard. Catoe – “I’m declaring a War on Safety. Not my fault, could have happened to anybody.”

December, 2009 – Catoe fires the top 2 bus guys and the head of human resources, and demotes the head of Corporate Strategy and Communications. Inexplicably Caote PROMOTES the head of MetroRail, the man directly responsible for running the railroad where all of the deaths have occurred.

December 10, 2009 – A safety inspection team has to jump out of the way so they are not run over by a train traveling at full speed, just days after Metro lifted a six-month ban. Numerous more safety violations are found. Turns out demoted Safety Chief was right when she banned safety inspectors track access because, “it was not safe.”

January 26, 2010 - Two Rail workers die on the Red Line near Rockville, hit by a "hi-rail" pick-up truck.

February 1, 2010 - Maintenance vehicle carrying 20 workers hit a rail truck on icy tracks, causing a domino effect crash that damaged at least 4 vehicles.

So who is to blame, who should be fired?
#1 Catoe - FIRED! Well done.

#2 David Kubicek – MetroRail Chief, recently promoted by Catoe, guy who has been running the railroad and is clearly the root cause of all of MetroRail's problems, safety lapses, and accidents. All of the bad stuff has come since he arrived and made major changes in personnel and operating rules.

#3 Jim Graham - demoted from Board Chariman (Well Done) but now should be sent packing with his boy Catoe.

#4 The rest of the Board, who have done NOTHING during these months of tragedy after tragedy.

Posted by: ryanc22032 | February 3, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company