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“The car sped away,” Passenger describes hit-and-run accident involving Oklahoma City streetcar

OKLAHOMA CITY - Just one month after service began, the streetcar in downtown Oklahoma City has been involved in its first crash.

The crash happened at the roundabout near N.W. 10th and Walker.

A man who was on board at the time of the crash told News 4 that he's thankful it was just a minor wreck, but hopes this will serve as a teaching moment for other drivers in the area.

"It's just another kink they have to work out as this new system is underway downtown," said Matt Epting.

Matt Epting was riding the streetcar with friends Tuesday night when they encountered a bit of trouble with another driver.

"As the streetcar was entering the roundabout, another car going north on Walker tried to slip ahead of the streetcar and kind of cut it off," Epting said.

Both vehicles stopped, and the streetcar operator honked the horn. At that point, the driver tried to pull ahead of the streetcar a second time.

"Then we all heard a loud crunching sound and then we heard the wheels turning and the car sped away," he said.

When he realized everyone was OK, Epting began documenting the moments afterward on Twitter.

"What I'm told was this is the first accident, first collision with another car so we got to witness a little bit of history, thankfullys without any injuries," he said.

Epting says the streetcar's driver, along with police and EMBARK officials were quick to make sure everyone was alright, handing out a bit of paperwork.

As he tweeted, the streetcar had some minor damage but was not much worse for the wear.

"I mean the streetcar doesn't move incredibly fast to begin with, so it wasn't a high-speed collision or anything," Epting said.

EMBARK officials say you should treat the streetcar like a normal bus on the roadway. Epting says it's a good reminder to study up on roundabouts as well.

"If you see a big streetcar hurdling toward you, don't enter the roundabout," he said.

Witnesses describe the car as a small brown Honda. Some of the passengers reported that the vehicle suffered noticeable damage.

EMBARK released this statement:

"A motorist hit streetcar 801 and then fled the scene at around  7:15 pm. Seven passengers were on board at the time. No injuries were reported. Minor damage visible (scuff marks and broken indicator light) however, a full review and inspection of vehicle will be performed. Police are investigating the incident. While all streetcars were stopped, a bus bridge was implemented to maintain service at all streetcar stops.”

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