Trolley, pedal tavern collide in Downtown Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A MATA trolley and a party bike collided near the intersection of Main and Gayoso on Saturday afternoon.

During an interview, which was posted on Twitter, a trolley rider described the moments before the two collided.

"They were going along the track when she blew her whistle, and evidently he thought he could speed up, beat her. He turned too short in front of her and she hit him," the man said.

Sprock-N-Roll owner Ashley Coleman said they have an approved route by the city and have been operating for three years without incident.

Coleman said her driver parked in the middle of the trolley tracks Saturday to allow a group of people to take pictures on the side of the mall where they normally park.

The witness said Sprock N Roll tried to race past the trolley despite the trolley operator ringing the bell.

Coleman showed us where her driver was parked and claims the trolley rolled through and dragged the bike several feet.

The trolley driver was taken to the hospital, but is expected to be okay.

Although there are signs along the mall that say "vehicles are prohibited," Coleman said they have not been considered a vehicle but instead a pedal carrier or party bike.

"We were approved to be here by the city and no one has ever told us that we couldn't be here," she said.

Sprock N Roll released the following statement Saturday Night:

While attempting to park on a road we have accessed for 3 yrs we were struck by a trolley. The trolley never slowed as it rear ended us turning us perpendicular to the front. See debris from the wood and a passengers to-go box showing how hard we were hit & far we were carried.

Sunday morning Coleman, released an additional statement saying in part:

Safety of our passengers and those around us is of utmost importance. We have not had any citations or incidents regarding safety in all the years we have operated. The trolleys have been back on the scene for two weeks and already have gotten tangled with us. My question is the safety of the trolley as either visibility was low, the ability to stop was prohibited, or the driver did not have proper training.

MPD said the party bike driver was cited for the incident.

"Going forward I'd like to talk to the DMC [Downtown Memphis Commission] and MATA and understand the limitations of the trolley and see how we can go about existing safely," Coleman said.

We reached out to MATA about trolley safety and contacted the Downtown Memphis Commission that permits carriages and carriers. MATA responded by saying the incident remains under investigation.

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