Exclusive video: I-Team shows what got an RTA rapid train operator fired

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The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained video that helped get an RTA train driver fired for how he went into a rail line work zone. But the union president believes the same video should help clear the driver.

The driver’s union showed the video to the I-Team, claiming a flagman lied. Union President William Nix says a flagman along the tracks holding a yellow flag called the control tower and reported the train blew through a red flag.

A recording shows a worker called the control tower and said, “I’m standing here with the flag, with the red flag waving it. And he just ignored it.”

The tower goes over that multiple times, and the worker says, “He went through my red flag.”

Union President William Nix said, “That’s very much a falsification on that flagman.” He added, “Clear this man and bring him back to work. This subcontractor flagman has falsified, and my member is out of work.”

Nix says the flagman didn’t send an electronic signal into the train’s cab warning of a work zone. And he didn’t actually wave any flag.

That train operator appealed his firing. In records from a hearing, the I-Team found the hearing officer wrote that driver should have automatically stopped going into the work zone. No matter what color flags the track worker had, the driver first should have stopped and waited to be waved on.

Ultimately, the firing was upheld.

The hearing officer also wrote, the driver had acknowledged the work zone to the control tower earlier, he didn’t enter the zone at restricted speed, and he put workers and equipment at risk.

But the union is considering legal steps to keep fighting saying it’s not so simple especially with that recording about the red flag and the video.

William Nix also, said, “He deserves his job back because he did nothing wrong.”

Records show the driver had already been on a last-chance agreement with RTA due to previous discipline on the job.

The I-Team reached out to RTA about this on Thursday, and the agency was not yet ready to comment on this inquiry.

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