DART Invested Millions In Security Cameras But Are They Reliable?

It was a deadly collision between a car and a DART train that had as many as 20 mounted cameras. But DART says the only one pointed toward the crash wasn't working.

Video Transcript

- A deadly collision between a car and DART train-- a train that had as many as 20 mounted cameras. But DART says the only one pointing toward the crash wasn't working, which raises concerns about the reliability of a $12 million surveillance system. CBS 11 JD Miles explains with this exclusive video and a story you'll only see here.

JD MILES: The few passengers on board this DART train had no idea what they were about to experience.

[RUMBLING]

It was near midnight on February 21 when multiple security cameras recorded a crashing sound, a fountain of sparks outside the windows, and a sudden stop that jolted passengers from their seats on a train heading north at this crossing on Meadow Road. The train had collided with a car driven by Eduardo Ramirez, who authorities believe was killed instantly.

ITZEL GONZALEZ: You know, he was like a brother to me.

JD MILES: Eduardo's family created a shrine to his memory at the scene. In the weeks since, they've desperately wanted confirmation of the train conductor's account that the guard bars were operating and that Eduardo drove around them.

ITZEL GONZALEZ: It's really hard [SIGHS] because we want to know what happened.

JD MILES: DART provided nine videos to the family that captured views from inside the train at the time of the crash. But the one mounted to the front of the train that would have captured the collision wasn't working.

- Well, unfortunately in this case, we did not know the camera was out of order. Of the thousands of cameras across our DART network, on occasion, we do have one go out.

JD MILES: In 2019, a passenger was seriously injured after being pushed onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. DART security cameras mounted around the Oak Cliff Station that would have identified a suspect were not working. A DART spokesman says the incident should not cause concern.

- For the most part, we've always had very reliable camera service.

JD MILES: Video was eventually found from a camera at a nearby apartment building that finally gave its Itzel Gonzalez confirmation that the guard bars were working and that her cousin drove around them. Only that video allowed her family to grieve without lingering questions.

Millions of dollars have been invested by DART in a surveillance system to provide security and in some cases, provide a grieving family with answers. DART says it appears all cameras found to be faulty, including the one on the train that collided with Eduardo's car. In Dallas, JD Miles, CBS 11 News.