Santa Monica Daily Press has reported that an Expo Line train was derailed when it collided with a truck at the intersection of Colorado Avenue and 7th Street at 12 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2015. This is the first major incident involving a train to be reported in Santa Monica since tests began a few months ago.
Authorities say that the driver of the truck was trying to make an illegal left-hand turn from westbound Colorado Avenue onto southbound 7th Street when the westbound train struck the cab of the truck. There were no fatalities or life-threatening injuries reported, however, the truck driver had minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.
The train remained upright despite derailment. The driver and two other officials were on board the train at the time of the incident, and one person also reported minor injuries.
The truck was carrying construction materials. An investigation is now underway, and the Santa Monica police are looking into the incident.
The Expo Line testing is slated to continue Dec. 14-15. It is unknown whether the accident had any effect on the testing schedule.
The Expo Line is a light rail track that connects through downtown Los Angeles. It has been undergoing tests from Culver City to Santa Monica. The extended line is scheduled to be open to passengers by the middle of 2016.
The accident is just another reminder that the public has to be prepared for the incoming line, according to the Santa Monica city manager, Chris Cole. He said that there are numerous potential violations associated with the forthcoming transit options, including walking or driving on the track and making illegal turns along the adjacent roads. Cole said, “We have a lot of education and some enforcement to do.”
In relation to the accident, Lt. Richard Lewis said the truck driver’s turn was in violation of posted signs.
The Expo Line cost $2.5 billion and runs 15.2 miles, which includes three stations in Santa Monica. The funding for it largely comes from Measure R, a sales tax initiative that LA county voters put through in 2008.
By Juanita Lewis
Santa Monica Daily Press: Expo Train Hits Truck Test Santa Monica
Featured Image Courtesy of Neon Tommy’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License