The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

O'Hare Blue Line Crash Train Operator Admits Sleeping At Controls

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 26, 2014 7:00PM

The operator of the Blue Line train that crashed into the O’Hare Blue Line station admitted to investigators she dozed off at the controls and woke up only as the train plowed into the station. That’s the latest development in the crash by National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ted Turpin. Turpin revealed the news this morning.

Turpin said the train entered the station at around 25 mph and triggered an “automatic stop 41 feet before the end of the track. We all know what happened next; Turpin couldn’t say why the train didn’t actually stop. The operator can’t remember if she had her hand on the spring-loaded control handle at the time of the crash.

There’s more. The operator is a “fill-in operator,” meaning she receives her work assignments on a day-to-day basis and her shifts change constantly. Her work history also indicates she overslept on another occasion and was late for work.

“We are now comparing all of CTA’s documentations as far as discipline records, time on- and off-duty,” Turpin said, “and comparing that to the schedules that she gave us during the interviews.”