BART officials thank train operator for stopping train before striking vehicle in Oakland

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OAKLAND (BCN) — BART officials are commending a train operator and stressing the need for them after one stopped a train before it hit a truck on the tracks Wednesday in Oakland.

At 7:40 p.m., Operator Theo Matthews stopped his train coming out of a tunnel at Oakland’s 12th Street station and heading to San Francisco before it hit a truck driven by a person suspected of driving drunk.

BART trains are propelled automatically but operators can override the automatic propulsion.

“They serve quite an important function,” BART spokesman Taylor Huckaby said of operators.

An official commendation will be placed in Matthews personnel file. He will be featured in a BART newsletter and on the agency’s website, Huckaby said.

The incident caused delays of 90 minutes, but if the train had hit the truck, transbay service would have been suspended for the rest of the night, according to BART officials.

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