The owner of a floral shop whose delivery van was demolished by one of Atlanta’s $4 million streetcars says the streetcar operators need more training.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher learned Wednesday that the delivery van is totalled and one streetcar is out of service indefinitely.
The shop owner says the streetcar operator thought he could squeeze by the van that was illegally parked on Auburn Avenue while the driver delivered some flowers.
Florist David Brown and his driver both make the same point.
“Somebody needs to be doing some research on better training, obviously,” Brown said.
Brown says he knows about operating a huge vehicle
because he's also a firefighter.
He can't figure out why the streetcar operator destroyed his van that was stopped for a delivery on Auburn Avenue rather than making sure he could get around it.
“With the professional qualifications that should go into driving a, you know, a 96,000
-pound, 80-foot vehicle,” Brown said. “Just because he was outside of the white line a couple of inches, I don't, you know, think it gives them the right to hit it.”
The vehicle Brown described is now out of service with badly damaged doors.
Atlanta streetcar officials don't know how long it will be off the rails or what repairs will cost.
Marcus Jacobs was driving the van and admits he was cited for illegal parking.
“So I have to take responsibility in that part of it, but that's the only thing that I did wrong,” Jacobs said.
Loading up for deliveries Wednesday, Jacobs told Belcher the operator of the streetcar could have saved everyone a lot of trouble and money if he'd been a little more patient.
“I feel he could have stopped or blew the horn, or I think there were many ways that he could have avoided the situation,” Jacobs said.
In fact, the people at the funeral home where Jacobs was making his delivery told Belcher the streetcars frequently have to stop and blow their horn to get people to move vehicles that are too close to the tracks.
But on April 25, one operator did not.