CTA fires operator of Red Line train that killed woman who dropped phone on tracks

CHICAGO (WLS) -- CTA officials said they have fired the operator of the train that struck and killed a woman who was trying to retrieve her phone from the tracks of the 69th Street Red Line station in June.

Felon Smith, 37, was waiting for the train around 12:45 p.m. on June 27 when she dropped her cell phone onto the tracks. She climbed down to get it and was struck by an approaching northbound train, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

CTA officials said they conducted an extensive investigation into the incident, in which they interviewed employees and witnesses, reviewed all available video, and examined equipment, among other things, and found the train operator "violated guidelines regarding train operations, including attention to duty and safe train operations."

CTA also released video showing the operator in the seconds before the crash. He is seen looking out of the side window, not at the tracks.
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