The Maryland Board of Public Works and the two grieving families of teens struck and killed while walking on Light Rail tracks have reached a $1.5 million settlement in regards to the wrongful death train accident. Although an investigation by Baltimore Police found that the two teens, Jarrett Peterson and Kyle Wankmiller, had died in an accident, two Light Rail operators were filed in the wake of the fatal train collision.
In the settlement, the lawyer representing the two boys argued that the train conductor must not have had his eyes on the tracks and was distracted before hitting the boys. In addition the Maryland Transit Authority did not have a written policy warning conductors to be more careful in the days and weeks after trains switched tracks.
The two 17-year-old boys from Lutherville, Maryland, were found in critical condition lying on the Light Rail tracks in early July. Both teens died of their injuries days later. An investigation revealed that the boys probably did not realize that the tracks were in service after a lengthy closure and that the northbound tracks were being used for southbound trains. It also looked into how a train could have hit the two boys in daylight without seeing them or feeling the impact. Several passengers on the train in question felt the impact of the train accident, but the train did not stop.
At first train authorities suggested that the two boys had been lying on the tracks, but a video later revealed that they were walking with their backs to the train.
Both the train operator who hit the boys and a train operator who passed up the boys’ bodies were fired from their positions. A fare operator finally spotted the boys.