Family of man killed by Edinburgh tram demands answers three years on

Former bus driver Carlos Palacio was struck down by a tram in the city’s Saughton area in September 2018.

Family of man killed by Edinburgh tram demands answers three years on Supplied
Carlos Palacio was walking home from work when he was struck down by a tram in 2018.

The family of a former bus driver who was killed by an Edinburgh tram is still looking for answers three years after the incident.

Carlos Palacio was walking home from work when he was struck down by a tram as he crossed tracks at Stenhouse Drive, in the city’s Saughton area, on September 11, 2018.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) carried out a full investigation into the incident, and in February 2019 concluded overgrown bushes obscured the vision of the driver and pedestrians.

Other failings included the audible warning “was not sufficiently loud for it to be heard and acted upon by the pedestrian until it was too late”.

The investigation led to immediate changes to improve tram safety, including fitting them with louder bells and clearing pedestrian crossings of all plant structures to improve visibility.

Mr Palacio’s family members say they are still waiting to hear if the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) will prosecute Edinburgh Trams three years on from his death.

In a statement released by the family, relatives said: “We are at our wits’ end. We’ve waited and waited and put our faith in the justice system, but it gets to a point where you can no longer assume that ‘no news is good news’.

“We need prosecutors to tell us what is going on. If there is a delay, then why? If they need more evidence, then what evidence?

“Covid cannot be the reason behind this delay as our dad died 18 months before the pandemic – surely that’s ample time for the COPFS to have a grasp of the facts?

“We are heartbroken and exhausted, and it just feels like no-one is prepared to explain, apologise or even ask if we’re OK unless it’s done via the courts.

“What is going on at the COPFS that means it takes more than three years to make a decision?

“We need to know what is going on and make sure no others suffer like this in the future.”

A COPFS spokesman said: “We appreciate the impact the time taken to complete death investigations can have on those who have lost a loved one.

“The ongoing investigation into the death of Carlos Palacio involves detailed and careful consideration of complex issues.

“The case team have been in contact with his family and will continue to provide updates on any significant developments.”

Simon Hammond, partner at Digby Brown in Edinburgh, said: “The RAIB report has been available for more than two years, so it is easy to see why the family of Mr Palacio are frustrated by the lack of action.

“Most people understand that it’s the ‘not knowing’ that causes the most stress so we will continue to support the Palacio family and help them secure the answers and recognition they deserve.”