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Light rail transit systems can make commuting and just getting around considerably easier for people who live and work in metropolitan areas. However, like any public transit system, they can experience accidents and malfunctions.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, a two-car light rail train crashed into a single-car maintenance train in North Sacramento. The crash sent 13 people to the hospital, including a Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) employee. That person, who suffered a leg injury, was one of three SacRT workers aboard the maintenance train. This is the second major incident in the past four years involving a SacRT maintenance train.

The maintenance train was sitting on the tracks not far from the main SacRT maintenance yard. According to a SacRT spokesperson, the workers had moved the train to in-service tracks for testing. She said that is “standard practice.” However, investigators need to determine if the proper notifications were made that a maintenance train would be sitting on “live” tracks. They’ll also look at whether signals were working properly and whether human error was involved.

Some people aboard the cars were treated at the scene. Those who were hospitalized were released. A SacRT spokeswoman said that injuries appeared to be anywhere from minor to moderate.

The crash is under investigation by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as well as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

People who work in any kind of job where they are regularly in or around public transit are at risk of suffering particularly serious injuries. Even injuries that aren’t life-threatening can keep a person out of their job for some time as they heal and perhaps get needed therapy. That’s why it’s essential to get the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve.