A Boston family is distraught after finding out that a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s default is to blame for their loved one’s tragic death.
According to reports, 39-year-old Robinson Lalin was dragged 100 feet by a Boston train after getting trapped in the door last month. The trains are supposed to have a safety feature that stops them from moving when there is something between the doors, but federal investigators said they found a malfunction in a local control system.
The MTA has identified the issue as a “short circuit.”
Robinson’s nephew, Kelvin Lalin, has been sitting outside the station where his uncle was killed, holding a sign saying, “The MBTA Slaughtered My Uncle.”
He said the tragedy has wrecked his family, and he won’t be leaving until his family “gets justice.”
Robinson Lalin leaves behind two children.
“He was literally slaughtered to death, my uncle did not deserve that. We’re grieving. My family is honestly devastated. And we’re even more devastated after reading the report,” Kelvin Lalin said. “This was a negligent situation it could have been avoided.”
Robinson Lalin was exiting the Red Line train on April 10 when his arm got stuck in the door as it pulled away. The train carried his dangling body 100 feet on the platform onto to lower area near the tracks.
He died on the scene.
The National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation the next day. The agency tested the equipment, reviewed security footage, observed train operations, conducted interviews and performed sight distance observations, according to reports.
A full investigation may take up to a year.
“NTSB investigators examined and tested the railcar involved after the accident, identifying a fault in a local door control system that enabled the train to move with the door obstructed,” the federal agency’s preliminary report said.
The local transit authority inspected the Red Line fleet for similar problems in other trains. The MBTA said it found no other circuitry faults after conducting rigorous testing. The agency said it would implement additional regular testing to prevent the error again.
WCVB 5 reports that the operator of the Red Line train involved in Robinson Lalin’s death is off of the job while the investigation unfolds, and she has worked for MBTA since 2018. Operators must check to see if the doors are clear before leaving the station, reports show.
The MBTA has reportedly faced other safety problems over the last year. Nine people were injured in September when an escalator malfunctioned, and 25 people were hospitalized in July after two trolleys collided, according to reports.
The MBTA has released a statement and made other public apologies, but Kelvin Lalin said that’s insufficient. The family also wants to see the surveillance video from the night Robinson Lalin died.
“I want to hear from the MBTA. They’ve said sorry in a board meeting, but that’s not enough. You haven’t called me. You haven’t spoken to my mother or grandmother,” he said.
“We deserve an apology. We deserve something from the MBTA. They’re responsible for it.”