BART structures inspector killed on tracks

October 14, 2008 8:32:45 PM PDT
A Bay Area Rapid Transit structures inspector killed this morning when he was struck by a BART train between the Pleasant Hill and Concord stations was identified today as James Strickland, 44, of Concord.

Strickland, who had worked for BART since 2001, was struck from behind by an eastbound Pittsburg-Bay Point train as he was walking along the track, according to BART spokesman Linton Johnson.

Johnson said a maintenance crew had closed one direction of the tracks, so all trains were using the San Francisco-bound tracks when the collision happened.

The accident shut down normal train service between the Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Concord stations for more than three hours.

No BART passengers were injured in the collision, Johnson said.

The train's operator will be put on paid administrative leave and will be subject to a drug and alcohol test as part of routine procedure during the investigation.

Strickland left behind a wife and an 18-year-old son, according to a BART statement. He began as a transit vehicle mechanic for BART in 2001, became a structures equipment operator in 2003, and was promoted to structures inspector in 2006.

He had been recognized for an excellent attendance record and commitment to BART, the statement said.

The accident was the first employee fatality for BART since January 2001, when a worker was struck in an underground section of track in San Francisco. Four other BART employees have died on the job in the agency's 36-year history.


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