Croydon tram crash: Prosecutions launched

March 30, 2022

The driver of the Croydon tram which crashed killing seven people is being prosecuted by the railway watchdog.

Transport for London (TfL) and the operator, Tram Operations Limited, are also facing action for breaches of health and safety law, according to the Office for Road and Rail (ORR).

Alfred Dorris was driving the tram when it overturned in November 2016. The crash was ruled accidental by an inquest jury and TfL paid compensation to victims’ families.

The tram was travelling more than three times faster than a speed limit when it tipped over and spun off the tracks near Sandilands tram stop in south London.

The crash resulted in the deaths of Dane Chinnery, 19, Philip Logan, 52, Philip Seary, 57, Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35, and Robert Huxley, 63, all from New Addington, and Mark Smith, 35, and Donald Collett, 62, from Croydon. Fifty-one people were injured in the crash in darkness and heavy rain on 9 November 2016.

Mr Dorris is accused of “an alleged failure as an employee to take reasonable care of passengers whilst employed at work driving the tram”, the ORR said.

Simon French, chief inspector of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, said Mr Dorris may have slipped into a period of “microsleep” before the derailment.

During police interviews, Mr Dorris said he was “confused” but, when asked if he had fallen asleep, he replied: “No, no, no.”

Mr Dorris was arrested at the scene but in October 2019 the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he would not be charged with manslaughter due to a lack of evidence.

The CPS also said corporate manslaughter charges would not be brought against TfL or Tram Operations Limited.

ORR’s Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser CBE said: “We’ve made a fair, independent and objective assessment about what happened, and it is now for the court to consider if any health and safety law has been breached.”

A hearing will take place in due course at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.

 

This is valid as of 30th March 2022.

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