Veteran T worker killed in bus yard accident

Massachusetts
MBTA train_1544544331086.jpg.jpg

BOSTON (SHNS) – A veteran MBTA employee was struck by a vehicle while reporting to his bus for a shift around 6 a.m. Monday and died from his injuries after being transported to a local hospital.

MBTA officials identified the employee killed in the accident at the Charlestown Bus Yard as Bernadin Etienne, an 18-year veteran of the transit agency.

Steve Poftak, general manager of the MBTA, did not speak in detail about how Etienne was struck, saying that MBTA Transit Police and Boston police are investigating the circumstances of the accident as well as “what, if any, mitigations can be put in place” to address potential safety concerns.

“Today, we just take a moment to remember Bernadin, an 18-year employee of the MBTA and someone who was well-liked by his colleagues and performed admirably at his duties,” Poftak said at an afternoon board meeting.

In a joint letter to staff, Poftak and Boston Carmen’s Union President Jim Evers said that safety is “a top priority at the MBTA” and reiterated that a “thorough investigation” was underway.

Poftak and Evers told the agency’s staff that grief counseling is available to anyone who needs it through the T’s Employee Assistance Program.

“It is hard when we lose one of our own,” they wrote.

The general manager also said during Monday’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meeting that he had spoken to several members of Etienne’s family and conveyed “our deep regret at his tragic passing.”

“There is nothing I can say at this moment that would be adequate, but I just want family, coworkers and friends to know that our thoughts are with them,” said FMCB Vice Chair Monica Tibbits-Nutt.

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