The eastbound Orange Line trolley leaving Lemon Grove at 4:44 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24, collided with a bicycle rider at the Greenwood Cemetery grade crossing. The bicyclist died at the scene. San Diego Police Department personnel immediately closed off the area for investigation.
“I’m sorry, folks, we have a delay because of the accident on the tracks,” said Vincent Castro, the Orange Line operator at the Massachusetts Avenue station. “We will be stopping at the 47th Street trolley station and there will be a ‘bus bridge’ to the 32nd and Commercial station. You also have a choice of taking the bus at the Euclid Avenue trolley station.”
Fortunately, MTS bus route #4, which follows a parallel path westward to the 12th and Imperial trolley station, arrived at Euclid Avenue trolley station at the same time. There was a mass exodus of riders who did not want to wait for the bus bridge at 47th Street.
“I don’t want to be late for my work at 6:00,” said Phillip Jackson as he ran from the trolley to the route 4 bus. The bus was packed with people like sardines in a can, but Jackson left the bus at 16th and Imperial Avenue and ran to his worksite just as the Saint Vincent De Paul bell struck the 6 o’clock hour.
At around 7:00 p.m., the MTS operations supervisor said they were sending every other trolley through the area.
“At 7:30 p.m. the San Diego Police Department cleared the accident site,” said Metropolitan Transit System marketing director Judy Leitner. “All the Orange Line trolleys were back on normal schedule.”