Train crash driver had ‘smoked cannabis’

By July 24, 2014 Recent News

Stuff 24 July 2014
The driver of a train that crashed in Lower Hutt two months ago tested positive for cannabis use.

The Transport Accident investigation Commission today released its interim findings into the crash at Melling Station on May 27 when a Tranz Metro passenger train overshot the end of the line.

The incident prompted the commission to issue a raft of urgent safety recommendations today.

Deputy chief commissioner Helen Cull QC said the driver, who has more than 11 years’ experience, returned a positive drug test after the crash.

The level of cannabis in his system was consistent with a non-chronic user smoking a cigarette two or three days earlier, although it is not clear exactly when the drug was taken.

Cull said the commission was still looking into whether the driver had driven trains two or three days earlier and whether he had failed drugs tests in the past.

It was also looking at potentially slippery conditions, the performance of the train’s brakes and the adequacy of driver training provided by KiwiRail as possible factors in the crash.

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