San Francisco Subway Shuts Down After SUV Goes For A Cruise On The Tracks

Perhaps the driver of an SUV that shut down the San Francisco subway system with a cruise around underground thought he or she was in an action movie where they’ve just got to beat the train to a certain stop before the bad guy can hit the red button and destroy the city. Because why else would it make sense to drive on subway tracks?

Police arrested the driver, says the Associated Press, after his little joy ride shut down the system for two hours. The driver entered the tunnel around 6 a.m. and kept driving until the car got stuck on the tracks and had to stop. Train service shut down and resumed again by 8:15 this morning.

Luckily, the driver didn’t run into any trains along the way, and no injuries have been reported so far. No one knows why the driver thought an early morning jaunt on the tracks was warranted.

So when did Keanu Reeves show up to save everyone? That’s what we want to know.

San Francisco subway back open after SUV in tunnel [Associated Press]


Edit Your Comment

  1. LaurelHS says:

    Maybe his GPS told him to drive into a subway station and he just blindly followed the instructions.

    • clippy2.0 says:

      I’ve been guilty of that a few times. Nothing says “dumbass driver for listening to a GPS” like a couple of staties having to find you on foot because even they wouldn’t bring their cruiser down there!

  2. MutantMonkey says:

    Was the driver’s name John McClane and more importantly, was he being followed by another member of the Gruber family?

  3. aja175 says:

    This is an occupy protest waiting to happen. Want to shut down muni? Don’t picket the stations, drive a truck down the tunnel until it gets stuck.

  4. scoosdad says:

    Jeez, do they use a third rail there for power? Because if they did I’m surprised he didn’t kill himself somehow. Running into trains along the way should have been the least of his worries.

    • tralfaz says:

      BART trains use a third rail for power. The article doesn’t specify if this was on BART or MUNI, though.

    • shepd says:

      I can’t come up with an easy way to hurt oneself in a car because of a powered rail.

      Electricity needs to flow to hurt you, and unless the tires are wet, they’re decent enough insulators. Even if the car had aluminum rims and they touched the rail, in most cars the only way for the power to *go* somewhere would be through the tires (which shouldn’t be conductive), or an occupant, *if* they stepped out of the car.

      Even in the really unlikely case of the car beaching itself on the third rail, again… no path to ground until you get out.

      • AtlantaCPA says:

        Actually it’s the fact that a car is a Faraday Cage that saves you from electrocution inside the car. Tires are not thick enough to insulate from more than a few hundred volts of electricity at most. Your main point is still quite true though, he’d be safe inside the car.

        Google ‘tires protect you from lightning’ for multiple sources

    • thomwithanh says:

      MUNI runs on overhead lines

  5. blogger X says:

    He was probably testing the terrain management system of his new model SUV.

  6. dangermike says:

    Vids or it didn’t happen.

    • parv says:

      Well, there is at least one occurrence in Germany that is present on Youtube. The video quality was horrible.

  7. Tim says:

    For those of you wondering, this was Muni, not BART. It’s relatively easy to get into Muni’s tunnels, because most of the lines on the surface are not blocked off to cars. So you just follow the line into the tunnel …

    Also, Muni trains run on overhead lines, not third rails, so he didn’t have to worry about that.

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Thanks. I was wondering how it was even possible to get a car anywhere near a BART track. Muni is another thing entirely.

      And calling it a “subway”? Not from around these parts, are they?

      • M-D says:

        Muni Metro operates underground as a subway system (complete with set stops, platforms & fare gates) in the downtown area; the system shares a number of stops with the BART system, although the two systems are separate and (until a few years ago, with the rollout of TransLink/ClipperCard) didn’t share a common fare payment system. As the lines radiate out from the downtown area, the lines emerge at various points and operate at street level as streetcars/trolleys along side the city’s Muni buses and ‘traditional’ trolleys.

        A driver unfamiliar with downtown SF (or someone who’s drunk or distracted) could very easily make a wrong turn and inadvertently enter a MUNI tunnel. Because the trains act as streetcars and not traditional trains at an at-grade crossing, there are no gates/alarms, merely a standard street sign that says “MUNI Trains Only” or “No Turns Except MUNI”. It’s also entirely possible to end up behind a MUNI train on the street and inadvertently follow it into the tunnel.

        • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

          From the news, they said he was annoyed at waiting for the train so he drove around it, inebriated. Of the 7 times this has happened, 6 were with drivers under the influence.

          It’s my opinion that DUI drivers who are drunk at 6AM have problems far to bad to ever have a license again. He can ride Muni for the rest of his natural life.

      • CreekDog says:

        SF’s MUNI has had subways for almost 100 years. I don’t know why you’d say it’s not a subway when it is.

  8. pythonspam says:

    “And whatever you do… Don’t Drive on the Train Tracks.”

  9. RandomHookup says:

    A story like this and no pictures?

  10. Costner says:

    Ok this is humorous I’ll grant you that, but we can please start a tag called WITOC?

    (WITOC: Why Is This On Consumerist?)

  11. geargutz says:

    The only way this could be better is if the vehicle was a delorean.

  12. George says:

    this is something I enjoyed doing in GTA!

  13. Kestris says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say he did it on a [idiotic] dare. Hope the payout was worth it.

  14. George4478 says:

    As a man who has done stupid things (I know — it’s the only kind of man), booze and/or a woman were involved.

  15. Jawaka says:

    How does a truck even get onto the tracks? I admit that I haven’t seen a subway in ages but the ones that I did see were all underground and not near a road.

  16. BigDragon says:

    I want to know the make and model of the SUV. This is critical information. It might not actually be an SUV. It might be a Crossover. The media gets confused easily.

  17. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    “It appears he just drove into the tunnel and his vehicle got stuck when it hit a concrete step,” Esparza said. “We believe he was under the influence of alcohol. It’s very fortunate that nobody was injured.”

    Yeah. Give me a coal shovel and 10 minutes alone in a room with this douche bag and I’ll change that.

  18. CrankyOwl says:
  19. Snowblind says:

    Um… does this mean no $5 footlongs?

  20. Shouhdes says:

    I blame it on Violence in Videogames.

    I used to do that in GTA.

  21. mopman64 says:


  22. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    From my years of taking trains to work, my theory is that the driver turned too early at a intersection and since at crossings the rails are even with the pavement, kept going and as the rails elevated, the rails prevent them from turning off the tracks, and was riding with the tires on the ties until they either bottomed out or just decided to stop and get out for safeties sake.

    I had a train home one day stopped for this very reason when an old lady made a right hand turn and ended up on the tracks instead of still on the road.

  23. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says: