Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What happens when a 35 ton streetcar loses its brakes on a hill?

BUCHAREST, Romania - An official says one person has died and three are seriously injured after a streetcar smashed into cars and a bus in northeast Romania.

Adrian Mihai, spokesman for public transport for the northeastern city of Iasi, said Monday's accident occurred as the streetcar was descending a hill, when it collided with a bus, and several cars in its path. Dozens of passengers on the streetcar and bus suffered slight injuries.

Mihai said initial investigations showed the streetcar had problems with its brakes.

The streetcar was built in 1973 and donated to Romania by the Swiss government.

More info here and here. Romanian newspaper calls trams (streetcars) "moving coffins," chronicles years of problems due to bad brakes on hills and snow-related derailments here.


  1. So true, Coast. Excellent points. Cause no one has ever died in a bus, car or airplane before.

  2. An average of 115 Americans are killed every day on the nation's roadways. Another one today, the victim of a ringing cell phone:

    Loveland grad killed in I-71 crash
    10:33 PM, Mar. 22, 2011
    Written by
    Allison Manning
    Columbus Dispatch

    SUNBURY, Ohio - A Kent State University sophomore from Loveland was killed Tuesday after a driver who authorities say was distracted by his cell phone crossed over three lanes of highway traffic on Interstate 71 in Delaware County and struck her car.

    The accident happened as Joshua T. Morris, 32, of Streetsboro, was driving north in a Chevy cargo van about 2 miles south of the Rts. 36/37 interchange in Delaware County. He swerved across the median, through three lanes of southbound traffic and into the rest area, the State Highway Patrol reported.

    Rachael Carlina Woodruff, a 2009 graduate of Loveland High School, was pulling out of the rest area south on I-71 just after 2:30 p.m. when her car was struck.

    Woodruff was taken to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where she died. She would have turned 20 on April 10.

    Morris who was not injured. Charges are pending.

    Woodruff's roommate Chelsey Ellis of North Canton, said Woodruff was headed home for spring break to see her family.

    "She called me from the rest area this afternoon,'' Ellis said. "The last thing she said to me was, 'I'll call you when I get home safe.'"

    Enquirer reporter Spencer Dennis contributed.

  3. Hey Jake -
    The streetcar is dead. You lost.

  4. LOCKLAND - A bank robbery suspect was taken into custody after a two-hour standoff that began with a chase in West Chester and ended with a crash in Lockland.

    The standoff closed southbound Interstate 75 at I-275 in Sharonville. The highway reopened at 1:10 p.m.

    The robbery suspect was taken by ambulance to West Chester Medical Center. The nature of his injuries were not immediately known.

    The standoff ended when the suspect placed a handgun on the dashboard and surrendered. SWAT teams from Hamilton County and West Chester were on the scene.

    The suspect crashed his van while fleeing West Chester police after he allegedly robbed PNC Bank, 7301 Tylers Corner Dr., about 9:40 a.m. The robber showed a gun during the offense.

    The crash occurred at Exit 12 in Lockland, which has a sharp 90-degree turn and 15 mph speed limit. The man crashed into the exit wall head-on. Air bags on his vehicle deployed.

  5. Man struck and killed while changing tire

    ERLANGER, Ky. - A man was struck by a vehicle and killed while trying to change a tire on his own vehicle early Friday morning.

    The incident happened around 4:05 a.m. on southbound I-71/75 at mile marker 184 just before the Erlanger exit.

    Erlanger police say 65-year-old Peter Minor was changing his tire when a vehicle struck him. The driver of that vehicle did not stop, according to police.

    They are looking for a Toyota pickup truck or SUV with front end damage or possibly a broken windshield. Police do not have a color of the Toyota, but say it likely will have silver paint that transferred from the victim's car.

    Police say Minor lives in Cincinnati and has family in Northern Kentucky. Officers walked up and down the shoulder of the highway with flashlights looking for any possible evidence or pieces of either vehicle involved in the deadly crash. Officers did find one larger piece of plastic they believe could be connected with the hit and run.

    The victim's car was a Hyundai model. A flatbed truck hauled the car away from the scene. At 7:45 a.m. police cleared the one closed lane and left the scene to free up all lanes for the remainder of the morning commute.

    If you have any information on this incident, call Erlanger police at (859) 727-2424.

  6. ^Truly tragic whenever we lose a brother motorist.

    Light-rail death still being investigated
    "Investigators offered little new information Monday about the death of a man who was struck at a south Minneapolis light-rail train station Sunday evening.

    A Metro Transit spokesman said video of the incident at the Veteran Affairs station platform is available but he did not know if it showed clearly what had happened. The victim's identity was not released Monday.

    The man was on the platform when he was hit by a northbound train shortly before 6:45 p.m. Sunday. The case remains under investigation.

    He was the eighth person to die in incidents involving the Hiawatha light-rail line since it opened in 2004.

    Good thing we don't have any rail here or the carnage would be worse.


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