In August 1995, a commute home on a hot Friday evening became a horrific nightmare when a Toronto subway train crashed at full speed into the back of a stopped subway train. Three people were killed in what was the worst subway crash in Canadian history.
Moments before the crash, rookie subway driver Robert Jeffery ran three red lights and a faulty a trip arm failed to trigger the emergency brakes. Jeffery’s train slammed into the rear of a stopped train at full speed. After the impact the lights went out and people started screaming. The two trains were a massive tangle of crumpled metal, insulation, seat cushions and the personal belongings of passengers.
Jeffery’s train basically slid underneath the stopped train there was a 15 to 20 foot overlap. People were trapped beneath seats and the aluminum frame amid broken glass and debris. Rescue crews worked in unbearable heat and darkness through the night to free trapped passengers. Amazingly, Jeffery survived with non-life threatening injuries.
A Coroner’s inquest was held the next year and uncovered a transit system that was plagued with safety issues. It pinpointed 15 factors that led to the crash and said if anyone of those factors had been eliminated the crash would not have happened.