Well, here we are almost 16 months after my coworkers were killed as a direct result of Metro’s negligence and there is still no NTSB report. They have released the docket however. The most recent addition is the transcript of the interview with Mr. Dukehart, the Track dept employee who was driving the hi-rail truck.
Of course we’ll have to wait for the NTSB report to get all of the details, but it seems more clear than ever that Central Control (OCC) was primarily responsible for the accident. They knew that my former coworkers, Jeff Garrard and Sung Oh, were working between Rockville (A14) and Shady Grove (A15) on track 2 but failed to inform Mr. Dukehart and his crew. OCC sent them down track 2 (which is the outbound track) in reverse and against the normal flow of traffic, and did not notify Jeff & Sung. Their gross negligence and reckless disregard for the safety and well being of Metro employees resulted in two good men being killed.
Of course there were no repercussions. Hey, mistakes were made — what’r ya gonna do?
The hi-rail truck’s backup alarm was disabled per Metro’s request:
Q. Talking about the reverse beeper on the pick up. Just to clarify. So whenever you have the high rail gear stowed up and normal, like you were operating on the highway, and you go in the selection of reverse, the reverse beeper works?
Q. Okay. And if you have this piece of equipment where you have the high rail gear deployed on the — rail, and you’re in a mode to go back and forth, whenever you select reverse, it does not work?
A. It does work. It does work if you’re not in the rail light mode.
Q. Rail light.
A. There’s a console in the front, by the front seat there, underneath the radio and the heater and all that stuff, where you can turn on individual lights.
A. And you also have to turn on — it’s got an air compressor because those high rail brakes are air operated and you have a hydraulics to move your high rails up and down and then you have your strobe light and your other series of lights but one of them is called rail lights. When you push the rail lights on, your headlights go out. If you have them on, they go out and two lights in the rear come on. Then your back-up alarm does not work.
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Why Metro specifies that the alarm be disabled when the lights are on is a good question that I have yet to hear an answer to.