Light Rail Operator Found at Fault for Fatal Crash, Will Not Face Charges

April 26, 2018 05:25 PM

The video above aired in December 2017.

The light rail operator involved in the fatal crash that killed a 29-year-old ballroom dancer was found at fault for the incident but will not be charged.


Documents released by Metro Transit show that Abdellatif El Maarouf was discharged in connection to the crash that killed Nicholas Westlake last July. 

RELATED: St. Paul Man Killed After Car Was Struck by Green Line Train Identified as Well-Known Ballroom Dancer

In an internal memorandum, Metro Transit said El Maarouf traveled through a signal on July 19 at Eustis Street and University Avenue in St. Paul, causing the collision.

The memorandum was written in August. 

RELATED: Deadly Light Rail Accident Now in Hands of Ramsey County Attorney

The memorandum goes on to say, "Light Rail Management investigated the accident and determined Mr. El. Maarouf was at fault." 

While El Maarouf was found at fault by Meto Transit, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office declined to charge him.
In a document declining to charge Maarouf dated Feb. 13, the office said Maarouf was not driving "with scant care." 

RELATED: Friends Remember St. Paul Ballroom Dancer Who Died After Crash with Light Rail Train

"Although the fact he was driving a train heightens his duty of care, I am unaware of any case law that suggests the size of the vehicle involved in a CVO or CVH impacts the gross negligence standard," the document reads. "As such, El Maarouf's driving conduct is that of anyone who misses a red light and mistakenly enters an intersection against the light. Although the consequences in this case were fatal, it does not mean that El Maarouf was driving with scant care."

The document said at the time of the collision Maarouf was not speeding, honked his horn while entering the intersection and was not on his phone or under the influence. 

RELATED: Witness to Light Rail Crash Recounts Harrowing Scene


Ben Rodgers

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