Tucson trolley loses brakes, hits 3 cars
Published: January 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm
A trolley car full of passengers crashed into three vehicles after its brakes went out Jan. 16 in Tucson.
The trolley, part of the system that has been operating in Tucson for about six months, was travelling south on Fourth Avenue when operators realized the brakes had failed. Loaded with approximately 10 passengers, it picked up speed as it rolled down an incline at the entrance of the Fourth Ave. tunnel, which was recently expanded to handle cars and the trolley line. It hit two vehicles along the way.
It was headed toward the intersection at Congress Street, a busy arterial road, before losing momentum on a small hill leading out of the tunnel. That’s when it reversed course and rolled backward into a third vehicle.
Tucson Police and Capitol Police Officer Scott Schade arrived shortly after, parking their patrol cars behind the train to prevent it from moving any further.
Schade said the vehicles were damaged, but no injuries were reported.
“It was pretty lucky. It could have been something pretty major,” he said. “There is an electrical line in there, who knows what could have happened.”
Schade said there have been a lot accidents associated with the trolley system.
“It’s just been a nightmare I guess down here,” he said. “Ask any officer about the trolley, and they will just shake their head. I’d like to see them shut it down actually.”