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Sabino Shuttle accident: Who certifies safety?

9 year old girl & 70 year old woman hurt Saturday
Posted at 6:49 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 21:49:23-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A weekend outing took a dangerous turn when a young girl fell off one of the shuttle's at Sabino Canyon. She suffered head and leg injuries.  They were apparently not life threatening.
 
A 70 year old woman was taken to the hospital for injuries sustained from hard jostling in the tram.
 
Witnesses think the tram was speeding.  The company that runs the shuttles has suspended the driver while the investigation's underway.
 
It's easier to tell you who does not cover safety of the shuttles.  Sabino Canyon is Federal Land.
      
The shuttles are a private company.
      
The Sheriff's Department says the shuttle is not on a public road.
       
Arizona's Industrial Safety Commission says it has no jurisdiction. The Forest Service says it's investigating.
       
Whoever's responsible, a little girl and her family got a bad scare here.
 
The trip through Sabino Canyon went from scenic to scary when a little girl fell out of the open trailer. 
       
Witnesses think the shuttle might have been going as fast as thirty, twice the posted limit.
         
Christina Morey was on board.
 
"And I was just held onto my two little kids as tight as I could.  And then we jumped off the tram and we realized a little girl had fallen so then I proceeded to give aid to the child along with some other people, a lot of other people."
     
The Pima Sheriff's Department says the passenger trailer may have been weaving.  It's not clear why. 
      
The shuttle system operator says the driver may have been driving a little too fast.  She is suspended while the insurance company investigates.
       
Today, Juan Villegas was riding the shuttle for the first time since he was a kid.  Now with a grandparent's perspective, he wonders why it has no seat belts.
 
“I had to brace myself with my feet and against the railing to take a better photograph but it was still kinda scary. It really was."
 
The shuttle operator says the weekend accident was the first in 30 years, but we talked to a woman who says she was in an accident that was much more recent.
 
Arlene Corey says she and a friend were caught in a shuttle accident about five and a half years ago.
 
“'The tram operator hit the rock wall on the bridge and the tram broke in half, the back part where we were seated broke off and everybody fell hard on the metal floor.  We thought he had broken his tailbone.  He was in horrific pain."
         
She says because their tram was disabled and her friend was hurt they asked for a vehicle to bring him out. She says they were told they could call 911 and wait for a helicopter.
          
Finally there were able to catch a different tram back.
 
"I was just surprised that they didn't have any interest in injuries or how he was or filling out a report or nothing at all as far as safety was concerned."
      
Earlier, the owner of the shuttle system said the driver may have been going too fast, and has been suspended.  He's not saying any more while the insurance company investigates.