RTD light rail operator fired after car nearly derails near Mile High Station

DENVER -- A Regional Transportation District light rail train operator was terminated after the train he was driving nearly derailed near Mile High Station.

The operator allegedly took a corner so fast, passengers went flying. Several people were injured and two were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

This incident happened in June but it took a FOX31 viewer to bring it to the attention of the Problems Solvers before answers started coming to light.

Anna Fryer and her 11-year-old son were on the W Line on June 30 when train cars tipped up on their side, then slammed back down on the tracks, the Denver Fire Department confirmed.

In video, obtained exclusively by the Problems Solvers, one can see Fryer and her son approaching Mile High Station when the train car starts violently shaking.

“Fear, very much fear. I thought we were going to go off the rail," Fryer said.

She shouted to her son to hang on as passengers were being thrown out of their seats.

Paramedics treated a total of eight patients at the scene. Denver Health tells the Problem Solvers two passengers were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The Problem Solvers worked for weeks to gather and uncover information from RTD, DFD and the Denver Police Department.

RTD assistant general manager Pauletta Tonilas tells the Problem Solvers it was a “lack of judgement” on the part of the since-fired driver who took to curve too fast.

Tonilas says RTD needed to wait for an internal investigation to be complete before releasing the details.

“This is one where we wanted to make sure that we had all the right information and that we even had ample information to share," she said.

Fryer says she called the Problem Solvers because she wants RTD to do a better job at informing passengers about incidents that cause injuries.

RTD has yet to release reports and videos from another incident in which a driver took a curve too fast, injuring passengers.

Earlier this year, a woman’s leg was severed when an RTD R Line light rail train derailed near South Sable Boulevard and Exposition Avenue.

Moving forward, RTD says additional safety measures are being put in place, including additional driver training and speed radar signs near sharp curves to let drivers know their actual speed.

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