If you plowed your car into the back of a Muni train and told authorities afterward that you must have blacked out, odds are you wouldn't be motoring anywhere for quite some time. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the same goes for those who black out and pilot their trains
into a Muni train.
DMV spokesman Armando Botello confirmed SF Weekly
's query regarding Henry Gray, the operator of the L-Taraval train who claimed he blacked out just prior to colliding with a K-Ingleside at West Portal station
. A man who blacks out behind the wheel of a commuter train is every bit as eligible to have his driver's license seized as a civilian who does so in his or her own car.
"If the department were to receive notification from a reliable source, e.g. law enforcement, of an incident in which a driver experienced a lapse of consciousness resulting in a traffic accident, we would impose immediate suspension of the individual's driving privilege..." read the DMV protocol e-mailed to us by Botello.
"A reliable source" -- does CNN count
Botello confirmed that Gray stands to lose his commercial and Class C license.
Yesterday, Transportation Workers Union President Irwin Lum also predicted Gray would be riding a lot more Muni without his license. Also, SF Weekly yesterday broke the story that Lum claims the practice of switching into manual operation mode and not staying on automatic power through arrival at West Portal Station -- fingered by the National Transportation Safety Board as a cause of this crash -- is an "understood practice" long tolerated by management. Muni officials denied this charge.
Lum, meanwhile, claims the driver "didn't do something that was wrong" -- other than supposedly blacking out and ramming into another train.