A garbage truck crashed into a streetcar in downtown Milwaukee, stopping traffic and streetcar service for hours
One of Milwaukee's Hop streetcars was damaged and derailed after it was struck by a privately owned garbage truck early Monday morning. The crash pushed the streetcar into the intersection of Milwaukee and Wells streets, stopping traffic in the area.
The crash happened around 6:30 a.m. and the conductor who was operating the streetcar was the only person on board, said Brian DeNeve, a spokesman for the Milwaukee Department of Public Works. The conductor was taken to a hospital to check for injuries and the department announced she was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.
Two workers were in the garbage truck when the crash occurred, and both were unharmed and at least one declined medical services.
DeNeve said the crash caused the Hop to suspend service while the damaged streetcar was moved from the tracks. A traffic light associated with the Hop also was destroyed in the crash. DeNeve said most of the Hop's infrastructure, like rails and wires, was unharmed.
As of Monday evening, the streetcar had been re-railed and taken to the Operations and Maintenance Facility, according to DeNeve. The alignment was cleared and full service resumed, he said.
The initial investigation will be conducted by the Milwaukee Police Department. Because the streetcar system is a federal rail transit agency, an internal investigation also will be done by the Federal Transit Administration and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
"While our investigation is simultaneous with MPD’s, we will rely on law enforcement’s findings as part of that final report," DeNeve said Tuesday.
It is unclear of the monetary damage caused by the crash. "The cost and severity of that damage is too soon to tell," DeNeve said.
The Hop started service in 2018 and while there have been previous derailments, Monday's incident was the most serious, DeNeve said. When derailments do happen DeNeve said the DPW follows Federal Transit Association guidelines that outline the proper response.
Drake Bentley of the Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee's Hop streetcar derailed by garbage truck