A tragic accident killed a BART worker who was near the tracks between Pleasant Hill and Concord stations Tuesday, October 14, 2008. A train traveling eastbound struck 44-year-old Structures Inspector James R. Strickland around 9:30 this morning.
Immediately after the accident, BART officials shut down the section of track between Lafayette and Concord stations to investigate. A combination of shuttle trains and buses ferried passengers between stations on the affected section of the Pittsburg/Bay Point to SFO line. BART resumed normal service on the line at about 12:45 p.m.
BART investigators are interviewing all workers involved in the accident. The Train Operator, as is standard procedure, underwent a drug test, was offered counseling and will be on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.
At the time of the incident, all BART trains along the line were sharing the trackway usually reserved for trains headed to San Francisco. That’s because a maintenance crew had closed a section of the other side of the trackway, which is usually reserved for trains headed to Pittsburg/Bay Point. Preliminary reports indicate a train headed toward Pittsburg/Bay Pont struck Strickland from behind as he was walking.
ABOUT JAMES R. STRICKLAND
Strickland began working for BART as a Transit Vehicle Mechanic supporting Rolling Stock and Shops on September 10, 2001. In June 2003, he transferred to the Way and Facilities Division to the position of a Structures Equipment Operator where BART recognized him for his excellent attendance and commitment to the agency. In August 2006, Strickland was promoted to Structures Inspector. He leaves behind a wife and an 18 year old son. BART asks the media to please respect the family’s privacy and direct all questions through the Media & Public Affairs Department.
BART’S SAFETY RECORD
Today’s fatal accident is the first since January 12, 2001, when a worker was struck and killed in an underground section of track between 16th St./Mission and 24th St./Mission stations. Four other BART workers have died on the job in BART’s 36 years of operation.