MBTA Releases Preliminary Report on Mattapan Line Trolley Collision Incident

A preliminary report by the MBTA says that operator error was the likely reason for a crash between two Red Line trolleys on Friday that sent 16 people to the hospital.

The MBTA says that the operator will "remain out of service" as the investigation into Friday's incident proceeds.

The MBTA also said that they are currently looking into the repairs needed on the two trolleys following the crash and that until they are fixed that only four trolleys will run on the Mattapan line during rush hour. Normally five trolleys run during that time.

The incident happened on the inbound track between Cedar Grove and Butler. A moving trolley slammed into the rear of another trolley that had stopped.

"It was like a bang," said Antonio Rodriguez, one of the injured passengers. "We kept going and people were screaming in the back."

Boston EMS confirmed they responded to the scene and evaluated 17 people, all but one of whom were taken to area hospitals.

"Everyone just goes forward or just on the ground freaking out," said Rodriguez, who was heading to a school basketball game.

Firefighters arrived and helped escort passengers down the tracks to waiting ambulances.

"There was a guy whose leg, he said he couldn't walk," said Rodriguez. "There was a guy with a head injury, he was bleeding a lot, just dripping everywhere."

"One person was non-ambulatory," said Boston EMS Superintendent Steve McHugh. "The rest could bear weight with help, they were essentially complaining of minor injuries."

Rodriguez, who was dizzy and had problems breathing, was the only person treated who was not taken to the hospital.

"Honestly, people were panicking at first, and then everyone got each other to calm down and just help each other out of the trolley to get to where the ambulances and the firefighters were," said Rodriguez. "It was honestly one of the scariest things that ever happened to me."

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