CTA fires operator in deadly crash for attention lapse

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CHICAGO Ill. – The Chicago Transit Authority has fired an operator whose train struck and killed a woman who had climbed onto the tracks last month.

An in-cab video obtained by the Chicago Tribune shows the unnamed operator looking away from the tracks for about 12 second before the June 27 incident which led to the death of 37-year-old Felon N. Smith.

CTA spokesman Brian Steele says the man was fired last week for “failure to devote attention to duty and ensuring safe train operations.”

The employee had been a rail operator since 2006 and had no previous safety violations.

A second video on a train platform shows Smith climbing down on the tracks to retrieve a dropped cellphone. She then walks in the direction of the oncoming train.

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