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33 Injured as Trolleys Collide; Driver Tests Positive for Alcohol

December 29, 1990| From Associated Press

BOSTON — A trolley car rammed into another trolley that was unloading commuters Friday morning in an underground station on the edge of Boston Common, injuring 33 people, officials said.

The driver of the moving trolley tested positive for alcohol in his blood.

The accident involving the Green Line trains occurred at Arlington Station. The Green Line is one of four subway lines operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

"I just screamed out: 'Everybody hang on and get down. We're going to hit,' " passenger Steve DePaula said. "It just seemed like seconds later we smashed into the trolley in front of us. People just went flying everywhere."

DePaula said the moving trolley was going faster than usual. But Thomas Glynn, the transit authority's general manager, said officials did not know how fast the second car was going.

"I was looking at the lady across from me; next thing I knew, the lights went out and she was on the floor," said Ernest Jones, a passenger on the stationary trolley. "I saw one man . . . on the floor on his back, crying, obviously in agony, hurt."

The driver of the moving trolley told officials his brakes failed, Glynn said. Both operators, whose names were not released, underwent drug and alcohol tests immediately after the accident.

"The driver in the rear car, the car that did the hitting, . . . was found to test positive for alcohol," a transit spokesman said.

The driver was suspended without pay pending the outcome of an investigation, officials said.

Most of the 33 people injured were treated and released at hospitals. One person was in intensive care at New England Medical Center.

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