NTSB Investigates WMATA Accident

ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Transportation Safety Board has sent two investigators here to investigate an accident involving two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) employees.

An empty train on the Yellow Line struck the employees, fatally injuring one and seriously injuring the other.

The employees, both Metro track inspectors, were struck by a four-car Yellow Line train on an elevated track between the Huntington and Eisenhower Ave Metrorail stations at 9:30 a.m. today, Nov. 30.

Leslie A. Cherry, a 29-year veteran employee from Maryland, died while conducting routine track inspection along the rail line. The injured worker, who is in critical condition at a local hospital, has been a Metro employee since April 2006.

Metro is conducting an internal investigation, and is cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board on its independent investigation.

The Yellow Line train (No. 307) involved in the incident was leaving the Huntington station and heading into the Alexandria rail yard. There were no passengers aboard the train because it was not in service.

The train operator, a Metro employee since 1999, was given routine drug and alcohol tests.

The Huntington and Eisenhower Ave stations were closed for about 4.5 hours this morning as emergency personnel investigated the incident. During the investigation, Yellow Line trains terminated at the Braddock Road Metrorail station. Metro ran 26 buses to shuttle passengers between the Braddock Road, King Street, Eisenhower Ave and Huntington stations.

This is the second employee fatality this year. On May 14, an automatic train control technician was struck and killed by a Red Line train at the Dupont Circle Metrorail station.

– Special to Railfanning.org News Wire