Chicago Train Driver Had Fallen Asleep Before

And she had only been on job 60 days
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2014 12:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – The operator of a Chicago train that derailed at the O'Hare station in the middle of the night earlier this week has told investigators that she fell asleep at the controls and didn't wake up until her train had plowed into an escalator, reports the Chicago Tribune. That's not a huge surprise given the early speculation, but this part is: The same driver, who's been on the job just 60 days, also fell asleep while operating a train last month and got reprimanded for it.

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In that first incident, the driver woke up on her own and avoided a collision. She also overslept on another occasion and was late for work. “She was a fill-in train operator," says the lead investigator of the crash from the NTSB. "She only got her assignments on a day-to-day basis, so her shifts were changing continually." In the meantime, lawsuits from passengers are starting to filter in, including one from a 22-year-old woman that cites a "combination of operator inattention and excessive speed," reports NBC Chicago. More than 30 people were injured in the crash, which can be seen on surveillance video via Newsy. (Read more Chicago stories.)

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