What's your opinion on what happened in the stroller accident?

There’s a lot of chatter and opinions in the blogosphere about what really happened in Monday’s CTA accident where a young mother said she shoved a stroller into a train car door, the door closed, the train started moving, taking with it her 22-month-old daughter who was not strapped into the stroller. The stroller hit a barricade at the end of the platform at the Morse Red Line station, and the baby went flying onto the railbed between the north- and southbound tracks.

Or not. Or maybe so. Or maybe things happened a little differently.

A big problem is there are no direct witnesses to this accident, other than the mother, who said it happened as written above, and the train operator, who said she did not see a stroller wedged in the door before she started the train out of the station.

The other mystery revolves around the stroller itself. The operator stopped the train at Granville and walked through each car in search of the stroller. She says did not find it. However, a passenger turned it in at Berwyn. So where was the passenger and the stroller when the operator came through the car? And did the operator actually verbally announce she was looking for the stroller when she came through each car?

And the very latest news reports question both sides of the story: The head of the drivers union says the stroller survived the bashing and dragging with no damage. And a new witness has come forward to say she saw the driver “dump” the stroller, possibly at Thorndale. So, how did it get to Berwyn? 

Questions, questions.

For its part, the CTA has said preliminary tests of the train cars show the doors were working properly.

So what’s your opinion on all this? Take the click poll and weigh in.


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  • Kevin, you have structured the poll wrong.
    There needs to be a way to vote that this is an outright scam to make money from the CTA!
    Which is how I wanted to vote.
    Shading the truth is saying she isn't a fraudster!

  • I agree with Scooter Libby. I don't see how the stroller gets bashed into a rail and send a baby flying through the air, with neither the baby or the stroller any worse for where.

    If she is a fraudster, could the CTA sue her?

  • In reply to chris:

    Worse for wear I mean...

  • In reply to chris:

    I did vote for shading, but add me to the camp that this was collusion between the mom & the L train operator.
    Watch for multiple indictments soon, at least one CTA employee fired & a very embarrassed union, because they defended the operator at first.

  • In reply to chris:

    The ABC account has a pretty good account of what different people are saying about what happened with the stroller after the incident:

  • In reply to chris:

    So no video like this insane stroller baby incident?


  • In reply to chris:

    I want an option that says nobody has enough information to make any reasoned inferences so all of the options are false, while the media is whipping people's prejudices into a frenzy to sell ads. Can we get one of those?

  • In reply to chris:

    I saw one report that the baby was spitting up a red substance when it was recovered, but it was found to be cough syrup, not blood. Could the mother have given her the cough syrup to make it look like blood? Also the fact the baby wasn't strapped into the stroller certainly is a lucky coincidence.

    I would not be surprised if the mother faked this incident, and then the CTA operator tried to cover it up, thinking they were at fault. No collusion between the two parties, just two parties looking out for their own best interests.

  • In reply to chris:

    It's probably more than coincidence that this stroller incident happened mere weeks after the Australian stroller incident. The nice thing about fraudsters is that they're usually dumb enough to not give us time to forget about it before trying to fake a similar event.

  • In reply to chris:

    What about that couple that helped the woman get the baby, and said they saw the woman coming up the stairs to try to get to the train. Didn't they see anything?

  • In reply to chris:

    I think it's absolutely a scam! Unfortunately, I think the couple on the stairs were scammed also. She probably (with help) had the whole thing planned, waiting for the precise moment to pull it off!

  • In reply to chris:

    A scam because the physics of this do not make sense: Mother shoves empty stroller into subway car before the doors close - this explains the good condition of the stroller, the motorman not seeing anything odd, and the fact that nobody said anything. We say something if we smell or see something suspicious but an empty stroller, seems innocent enough - who doesn't see harmless but weird stuff on the train from time to time?

    Then the train leaves the station and the mom, holding the baby, jumps down to the track level, then starts hollering. Couple #1 (Joel and Rebecca) who had alighted from the train and were out of eyeshot hear the hollering and return to see a woman screaming hysterically looking at her kid on the ground.

    While I think this is a plausible explanation as long as the Morse station was empty for 1 or 2 minutes - if couple #1, when the returned to the platform, saw the Mom on the platform and the baby on the tracks, it's even worse because it implies the baby was dropped or placed there and the mom had time to climb back up to the platform.

    Unfortunately the mom has been a bit of a shut in, the equipment has checked out okay, the motorman is on a gag order, the kid is safe, so perhaps we'll really never know.

    Maybe the red line gets the cameras first so we can see more exciting true-life video like they get in Australia.

  • In reply to chris:

    Well, now the police are saying paint from the guard rail was found on the stroller. I don't think this was some kind of pre-planned scam. Too many things could go wrong and someone could have seen something. And the stroller itself took such an interesting journey after the incident. I'm sure we'll be hearing more on this, soon. Right now, not looking good for the CTA.

  • In reply to chris:

    Yeah, I see that too but I have to laugh when I read something like this though "CTA spokeswoman Sheila Gregory said a

  • In reply to chris:

    Kevin: I think the woman was a dolt for rushing to catch a departing train with a kid who wasn't even strapped into the stroller. When you do something stupid, you live with the consequences -- and her kid was okay. You don't do something stupid and then blame it on another party -- or, as so often happens in our so-upstanding-society -- turn around and sue someone for a payout. (which, yes, i think she'll do.) I'll bet she didn't even take her kid to a doctor immediately afterward.

  • I'd like a 6th option based on the new Sun-Times story with a witness saying the operator had the stroller ... scam, followed by CTA employee trying to cover it up. I think you'll see two things within a month - CTA employee fired and misdemeanor charges pressed against scammer for making a false police call.

  • By all means, you should vote "the mother is shading the truth" if you think she's trying to get money from the CTA.

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