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Trolleys smash in Newton

Edmonds
Terrese Edmonds
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UPDATE, 10:10 p.m.: The Globe reports the trapped operator, Terrese Edmonds, has died.

UPDATE, 9 p.m.: One operator still trapped.

Channel 5 reports two Riverside trolleys collided around 6 p.m. near the Woodland stop. Channel 4 has more, says one train was stopped at a red signal. Operator of the second train trapped, eight people seriously injured.

WBZ Radio reported helicopters and ambulances to ferry the more severely injured to hospitals; walking wounded slowly making their way to the train stop.

Staging area set up at Brae Burn Country Club. Initial emergency reports.

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Comments

Judging by the orientation of the car doors it looks like one hit the other from behind... not a head on. Also, it looks like someone (the driver perhaps?) is trapped in the front of the rear train. The train in front would have had an empty driving cab.

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according to the passenger accounts that Channel 5 has on their web site.

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Thanks.

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Karen lives near the Waban stop:

... We're outside with the kids. We notice a helicopter. Then another. A third. We hear sirens in the not-too-distant distance, and emergency vehicles are racing by the house. ...

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MBTA spokesperson on tv states 8 injured and 1 trapped, not "up to a dozen injured" or "two to four trapped"

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Xeno reports there were signal problems on that stretch of the Green Line on Monday.

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NECN has just confirmed that the NTSB is sending a 'Go Team' from DC to investigate this accident.

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I mean, he probably hasn't even heard of them ...

Such was the excuse for blocking the federal chemical accident investigators ... until they threatened court orders, arrests, etc.

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That section is straight as an arrow, literally. There's more than half a mile of straight track before Woodlawn, and it's straight from Woodlawn to Riverside. Completely. Totally. Straight. Go look in Google Earth if you don't believe me.

Either it was mechanical failure in the train, or operator error.

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Woodland. It's Woodland, not Woodlawn.

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We've been watching the news off and on since 7, and were really hoping they'd be able to get her out... although I didn't really expect they would, given how long it had been.

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At one stage in the aerial coverage there was a point when some of the nearest firefighters all took off their hats, one or two of them appearing to cross themselves, before getting back to work. I figured at that point they knew she might have passed.

My heart goes out to her family.

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I hope that she didn't suffer and that her family will be well taken care of.

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She was only 24 years old. Who expects to die on the job when they go to work in the morning? This makes me sad.

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How very disappointing that they couldn't remove her from the wreckage. It's hard to understand how you can't just "jaws of life" people out of twisted metal these days. I really hoped they would be able to get everyone out well enough.

The MBTA is not having a very good start to the summer this year.

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i can understand your disappointment, but that wasn't a honda civic they were working on. The structure of those trains is much heavier than what the jaws of life are typically used on.
Further, the photos aren't clear to me just how a person could even be located in there, the poor woman must have been completely sandwiched in between metal and plastic. Not having any room to cut throuch the train could have really slowed it down.

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I know there was a lot of force in the accident, but it's just surprising and frustrating that, given a few hours, 40 guys couldn't cut and peel back the structure of a trolley in any way to help her. I'm not suggesting they didn't do everything or that there was any chance that they didn't take. I'm just shocked that you could see a person in the wreckage and not reach them in hours of time. It's not like she was buried under feet of earth or some other indeterminable situation.

What of the safety features on these things? No crumple zone? No driver restraint/air bag system? No preset way to break out through that crappy wall behind the driver?

Just really confusing that something like this could just happen without the accident itself causing death on impact.

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There is an enormous amount of force at play when a train hits another object with even a moderate amount of speed. While normally, the trains hit objects with considerably less mass, that's not the case here. You've got a huge object hitting another huge object. Train/train crashes are really violent events and all of that force will crumple metal in ways that just aren't easily dealt with. From the description of witnesses, this was a far more violent crash than what you might be thinking of with even a bad car crash. The best emergency personal can't just yank someone out of this kind of crash or make the wreckage disappear. Its sad that they weren't able to help her, absolutely, but this kind of wreckage isn't easy to deal with for emergency personnel. There is a reason the NTSB is coming in to investigate it. This is a very serious crash and sadly its a tragedy that can't be easily responded to.

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It is completely possible that Motorwoman Edmunds had already "left the station" and there wasn't anything to be done besides recovery of her body.

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Jesus.
what a horrible comment.

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Why is it a horrible comment? It's stating a fact - she may have already been dead. I could have lived without "left the station," but I wouldn't call even that somewhat lame pun/euphemism horrible.

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the "left the station" is the part that is horrible.
making jokes about her death is tacky, making a pun about it is worse.

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That was the conclusion of a coworker who noticed that there were no paramedics by the train as they were working. Even if crews are trying to free someone, they try to do some medical treatment.

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No EMTs on the train, or near where she was... no stretcher or anything ready to take her to the medical helicopter... I figured she had died in the crash.

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From the very first helicopter images, it was clear that this was a very serious accident. It was like the WCVB anchors didn't quite get it. Don't they know what Green Line cars are supposed to look like?

Just before 6:30, Ed "take a look at this" Harding had a brilliant observation: "It looks like both trains are on the same track." Well, duh. From that point on, I muted the TV.

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its really to bad he wasnt standing between the streetcars.it may have lessened the impact on the poor woman that was killed.ed harding creeps me out.first he tells everyone that he used to "ride these same rails" and that the golf club to the right was Woodland Country Club.sorry ed, its Brae Burn. then they interviewed barry gallup and they kept asking him if he could confirm people being trapped under the train.then heather tells the guy he looks dazed and should get checked out.they were very ghoulish.

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TV coverage was awful. I was flipping between channels trying to find one that didn't have airheads talking. Do these people have brains? I mean even if they are just talking heads you'd think the producers or someone behind the scenes could provide them with speculation that doesn't sound so stupid. It was also very clear none there has ever been near the T.

Everyone kept repeating that "the green line was closed" when really only a small section of the D line was closed. Then Everyone kept thinking they were inbound trains. Did they not see what side of the tracks they were on? The direction of the setting sun? In one breath one of the airheads said they were "really" lucky to have the golf course right there but also unlucky there was no street access... what?

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Stupid, trivial point, but I kept running across stories on out-of-town sites that talked about "a commuter-rail" collision. What really surprised me was that this seemed to come from an AP report by Steve LeBlanc, who has been working in the Boston area long enough to know the difference between commuter rail and trolleys - I wonder if some editor in New York made the change.

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which is when commuter rail trains last ran on the Riverside Line?

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One of the "factoids" that WCVB put at the bottom of my muted TV screen last evening was the non sequitur: "The Green Line is the oldest of lines of the subway." OK. So what?

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I was on the river and heard a medflight copter come in to MGH...

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profile.myspace.com...friendid=81572353

her myspace profile:

Found the link through a survey she filled out. Sounds from her responses to the survey that she was a nice young woman with a strong faith in god.

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Good to know lawyers are standing by before they even get that poor woman's body out of the wreckage.

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Barely 2 days after I was hit by a car, I got a cheesy glossy brochure from an accident attorney.

I still have no idea how they found out so fast about it.

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Michael Page watched, rated the stations. Not a big fan of NECN.

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Edmonds' father before he knew for a fact it was her, by Ralph Ranalli of the Globe:

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The Outraged Liberal notes the other Green Line accident this month and wonders if Green Line drivers are simply going too fast at certain points in the system:

... The Boston College line car no doubt jumped the rails because it took the corner too fast, a common experience to any rider on that line.

The Riverside accident at Woodland Station had to involve speed because of the extent of the damage and the fact cars jumped the tracks. Whether it was a faulty signal or operator error will be determined by the National Transportation Safety Board.

But when you throw in a track fire at Park Street that fouled up the Tuesday rush hour, it inevitably raises serious question about the safety of riding buses, subway and trolley lines. ...

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When an organization is 5 Billion in debt, safety is the least of their concerns.

Take a look at that lawsuit they just lost a few months back. They were clearly in the wrong, yet tried fighting it and now owe 5 times more then if they settled.

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It is crazy that they still use these old trolleys. There have been a number of accidents over the last few months, though I think this is the worst. Even so, it could have been worse. The death of the conducter, Edmunds, is particularly tragic. The injuries to the commuters are also really unfortunate, even those that weren’t reported. Still, in situations like this it is best to pursue justice as well. Those involved do not have to sit by an do nothing. I know that The Shepard Law Firm of Boston, for example, handles cases like this, and they set up a hotline in order to help people: 800-451-4471 or you could just go to their site: http://www.shepardlawfirm.com/?pageId=278

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Ambulance-chasing shyster mouthpieces looking for their 30 pieces of silver is more like it.

And I come from a family of lawyers.

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But Adam..

Medical Bills won't pay themselves (and good luck getting personal insurance to also).

Also, incompetence will never be addressed without serious repercussions. Same thing goes for medical malpractice lawyers, sometimes doctors are out there that just should not be practicing medicine.

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Therefore it follows lawyers should be advertising on blogs hours after fatal accidents?

I'm not arguing that people on those trains shouldn't be considering their options but I would argue Mr. Mesothelioma Personal Injury Lawyer there might want to stick to paying for Google Ads, like I'm sure he does for mesothelioma cases rather than having his SEO consultant trawling Google Blogsearch for discussions on the accident.

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Search Google on mbta accident and look what appears on the right.

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How old is too old? Do you think the entire Mattapan PCC trolley fleet should be scrapped? I've seen no indication so far that equipment failure caused this accident.

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are a scumbag/lawyer.

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old? the trolleys are from the 80s. 5 seconds of research or someone else on here can probably give you the exact date both of them were constructed. Either way, not old. Railway equipment typically lasts 50+ years.

I hope one of the ambulances you chase runs you over

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I believe you are saying the Shepard Law Firm is a bunch of shysters and ambulance chasers, but just wanted to confirm.

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you are correct sir

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Doctors, too. Also prescription drugs. Wouldn't we be better off going back to those days?

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I know that The Shepard Law Firm of Boston, for example, handles cases like this, and they set up a hotline in order to help people: 800-451-4471 or you could just go to their site

Thank you so much for your slimy faux recommendation!

If you're going to be so disgusting and post that here, why not just call it what it is and say, 'call my shyster sleazy ambulance chasing law office today and get your share of the settlement pie'?!?

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I wish anyone luck with these clowns. This is one of the firms that the attorneys in the law office where I work poke fun at whenever they try to sue one of our clients. Usually they're lucky if they get a settlement that's just enough to cover the legal fees. Firms like this are a disgrace to the legal profession.

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The article ends:

The accident occurred only one day after two subway stations on the Red Line were evacuated when a small electrical fire broke out on tracks just outside Downtown Crossing, creating a major disruption for commuters.

Recently, a Green Line trolley on the B branch derailed and caught fire on May 14 on Commonwealth Avenue near Chestnut Hill Avenue, disrupting service and damaging the trolley and track but resulting in no injuries.

In February, a passenger was injured when a Green Line trolley collided with a truck on the B Line at Commonwealth Avenue near Cummington Street. In December, a trolley crashed into another at Boylston Station, leaving nine people with minor injuries.

In September a trolley and a flatbed truck collided near Coolidge Corner, leaving the truck driver and three passengers with minor injuries. Two trolleys collided in a rear-end accident on the Green Line between the Copley and Arlington stations on July 7, 2005, injuring three people.

...In 19-aught-9, a trolley on the A line scared a mule into knocking over Mme. Abigail Haberdashery.

...In 1775, amid preparations for war, a man named Embee Teeay bumped into a British guard and received the stockades for 3 days.

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Last night, Channel 5 listed T crashes going back to the mid-'90s.

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BBC covered the story during last night's news.

- from your friend in the UK

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Not the announcer's voice -- that was fine. But anyone in London should know the difference between a heavy rail subway (the Underground, or our Red Line, or Chicago's L); a light-rail line (Docklands Light Rail or our Green Line); and a commuter train (which London, Boston, and Chicago all have many of)

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And not saying much, which isn't surprising, given that she just got to the scene. She did say the accident was not likely caused by a derailment, though. Investigators will look at track conditions, signals, the trains themselves and, of course, "human factors."

No black boxes on trolleys, but there might be some data involving the wheels and information at the dispatch center. Besides the NTSB, the MBTA, the governor's office, the Middlesex County DA's office and the Boston Carmen's Union will be involved.

Emergency responders did an excellent job, she said. She said it was "fortunate" the accident was only two stops away from the end of the line, because that meant there were fewer people onboard.

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Besides the NTSB, the MBTA, the governor's office, the Middlesex County DA's office and the Boston Carmen's Union will be involved.

What is the union doing investigating this or being involved in any way? Or the Governor's office? Both are purely political entities, and neither is qualified for accident investigation.

The only thing I see the Boston Carmen's Union doing is pressuring the investigation to not find fault with the driver- and making sure all of their union members clam up unless whatever they say doesn't put themselves in a good light.

Emergency responders did an excellent job, she said.

I fail to see how not extricating the driver before she died qualifies as an "excellent job."

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Really? How'd you know that?

It looked more to me like they got in to her to help quickly enough, only to find out it was too late. Then they took their time with the wreckage while next of kin were notified.

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On Board: 200
Died: 1
Alive: 199
Flown to Boston Medical: 1+
Ambulance to Newton-Wellesley: 6+
Treated at scene: 5+

Take a look at the picture of the front of that trolley. The front where it should be vertical is practically horizontal. Getting the driver out in a single piece is surprising.

But maybe you know some special way to put people back together after something like that that emergency responders don't know.

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And it's not like, if she was alive when they first got there, they could just grab her and yank her out! It take a lot of care to remove someone from a wreck like that without making their injuries worse.

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Why is it surprising that they would talk to the carmen's union during an investigation? Of course they would be "involved" with the NTSB's investigation. Indeed, it may well be to advocate for the woman who died, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I wouldn't want them pressured into absolving her, but I likewise don't want them rushing to judge her if there is something else at fault.

As to the emergency personnel, we have little information right now and I see little reason to criticize them because a woman died in this accident. What we have seen is dozens of responders working to free people trapped in the wreckage, including the operator. That someone died is a tragedy, but that doesn't mean there was anything emergency personnel could have done to save her. I don't see a reason right now to assume that they failed to do anything they could have safely and readily done, so I see little cause for lashing out at them to assign blame.

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The Tab posts the initial 911 call from a Dorset Road resident.

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Channel 5 reports that's one thing investigators will look at.

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I hope that's not the case, but I ride the Green Line everyday and once in a while you see the conductor on a cell phone.

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It's one thing to be distracted while responsible for a 3000lb missile. It's another thing to be distracted while responsible for a 30000lb missile with 100+ people on it.

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People are selfish. That's why driving while dialing and texting bills never make it through the legislature. There have been studies done showing how even a handsfree phone will severely impair reaction time and general attentiveness of a driver.

Anecdotal and scientific evidence supports the argument that using a phone while driving just about anything is a terrible idea, but people will continue to do it because they don't want their lifestyle infringed upon for the safety of others.

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those light-rail-vehicles weigh about 80,000 pounds each, empty, and replacement cost is anywhere from a million and up each.:

http://www.lightrail.com/carspecpages/toronto/alrv...

All four of those LRVs could be badly damaged enough so they might become usable for parts only. The total cost for the lawsuits and other expenses might add up to a truly impressive sum.

I hope this isn't all because a 24 year old couldn't stay off the cell phone.

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No matter what the cause, it's still tragic, but if it turns out she was on the phone, I hope this scares the pants off of every T operator into not doing it, because they do plenty. I've seen it on the B line, the 70 & 66, and reported it to the T when I've been able to jot down the vehicle number. It's bad enough people talk on cells while driving cars/trucks/bicycles, but to do so while operating a HUGE HEAVY machine full of people is not acceptable.

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I've seen it more times than I can count, and it should be an automatic suspension every time. There are plenty of people lined up to take a job on the Green Line, and MBTA managers and the union just need to get with it and lay down the law.

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Actually, if reported, it's a three day suspension for the first offense, ten days for the second and fired for the third time.

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MBTA Green Line trolleys (and I think buses) are equipped with radios that have a handset that looks very much like a telephone. If she was talking to dispatch on it before or during the crash, I can see how eyewitnesses might conclude that she was on a cell phone.

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I know of the radios you're talking about, and they look like 1960s Ma Bell handsets, not like a cell phone.

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But eyewitness accounts can be very unreliable. One person may see an operator talking on a radio handset while another person sees that same handset as a cell phone.

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Eyewitness testimony is not necessary to establish whether she was on the phone. That's what phone company records are for. No need to speculate.

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some news reports said witnesses said the subway car driver was texting just before the impact. Also, the father said in a tv interview that he often called her on her cell phone when she was at work. When he suspected she was the driver in the accident, he repeatedly tried to call her on her cell phone.

She probably used her cell phone often while driving the subway car.

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I would hesitate to jump to such a conclusion.

Determination of whether or not she was on the phone at or prior to the crash will not be difficult. I am content to wait.

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Investigators rule both out as possible cause; no evidence Edmonds ever applied the brakes.

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At least this deflates the "WTF THE GREEN LINE IS A HORRIBLY MAINTAINED POS!" hysteria that the media has been trying to whip up for the past few days.

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They haven't ruled out a signal error yet.

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