New video released of METRO bus crash

March 16, 2010 8:42:46 PM PDT
Dramatic new video from inside a METRO bus shows the moment it crashed into a METRO light rail train on Monday. Nineteen people were hurt. METRO says the bus driver ran a red light and it's not the first crash she's been involved in. Not all METRO buses are equipped with cameras, but the one that crashed Monday afternoon is. The video shows other cars stopped at the red light while the bus kept going. It was traveling 29 miles an hour and when it hit the train there was quite an impact.

For some METRO riders, Tuesday's afternoon commute came with a little anxiety.

"It kind of made me scared to ride a bus again," said Peggy Cole.

And she had only seen the aftermath of Monday's bus-train collision. METRO released the video early Tuesday evening. At impact on the train, you can see a man and his baby jerked to the side. On the bus, passengers are thrown from their seats as bus driver Debra Harrison took a jarring blow.

"Was that light green?" Harrison asks in the video.

She immediately questioned the signal. METRO officials believe a camera angle out of 10 from the bus easily answers it.

"She ran a red light," said Chief Tom Lambert of METRO Police Department.

In fact, investigators believe the light was red for 10 seconds before Harrison entered the intersection at Main and St. Joseph. The train had a vertical bar which means go.

This is the second train-bus collision in just over a month, and both at the same intersection. The driver's union, as well as the driver, have raised issues about signal timing and whether tree branches obstruct a bus driver's view.

"We're going to make sure we do due diligence to make sure we look at every issue that's raised," said Chief Lambert.

Harrison has been suspended without pay until the investigation is complete. She's out of the hospital but surely sore.

Harrison has been with METRO for 10 years. She's been involved in five accidents since 2007, but only one was ruled her fault. We were not able to reach Harrison tonight for comment.


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