NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Several residents of a Hermitage senior living facility were injured Thursday morning after an accident involving a novelty train occurred.
It happened at McKendree Village located at 4343 Lebanon Pike during an event at the facility.
The 21-year-old train operator told police he was taking residents around the grounds on the small train when he lost control coming down a small hill, causing the last train car to overturn before throwing riders to the ground.
“The driver of the train is very upset and very concerned about the passengers. He said they test drove the train earlier and everything appeared to be working properly,” Metro police officer Greg Curtis said. “The driver said that he applied the brakes. Either the brakes were not working, or [they] were ineffective, and he lost control of the train.”
Officials said as many as 12 people were on the fair-like train when the accident occurred. Seven were transported to area hospitals for injuries. An eighth person refused treatment.
“Our first priority is going to be just the safety of our residents and we’re just making sure everybody is okay,” Executive Director of McKendree Village Barbara Morrison told News 2.
“We appreciate that people are not speculating about what may have happened and that they are being supportive of all involved,” continued Morrison.
The accident remains under investigation and investigators are working to determine how much weight the ride could carry at a time.
“The number of people over there [on the train,] we’re looking at easily over 1,000 pounds of people combined,” Curtis said. “So [it] very well could be the brakes are not designed to try and stop that much weight.”
Police added the driver of the train did not show any signs of impairment.