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Nicoletti Walker Law Group April 29, 2016

Sadly, another deadly Amtrak crash took place on April 3rd, killing two people and injuring at least 30 passengers, sending them to the hospital.At this point, investigation officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are looking at the mechanical operations, speed, and track signaling to try and figure out why the train crashed into a backhoe on the tracks.

After hitting the backhoe, there was an explosion on the train, as well as a fire, causing the windows to burst out and send smoke into the train and leaving passengers stuck for some time before they could be loaded into ambulances. Thus far, the investigation has revealed that the train was going 106 – 110 miles an hour right before the crash occurred and the work crew may not have been authorized to be on the track at the time of the accident. Because the train’s engineer was not expecting the crew to be in the way, he did not apply the emergency brakes until five seconds before impact.

Unfortunately, this isn’t Amtrak’s first severe accident. This latest incident comes approximately one year after an even more severe, fatal accident, when the Amtrak Train 188 left eight people dead and many more injured.

Collision – Prevention System Failed

This has public transportation riders concerned, as the collision-prevention system – “positive train control” – was in operation at the exact place and time of the accident. That system is supposed to automatically slow the train as it approaches a work site and goes through red signals. These lights turn red when a stretch of track is taken out of service if and when a maintenance crew first obtains permission from the railroad dispatchers.

Federal Safety Rules

However, no one knows for certain whether this particular maintenance crew went through the appropriate channels to ensure that they had clearance to work on that area of the track that morning. Federal safety rules require that a crew not only make it clear to federal dispatchers before going to work on the track, but to obtain a safety briefing from the employee in charge of that particular site verifying which specific tracks they have access to.

In sum, it is unclear at this time whether these rules were followed by the company, leaving passengers wondering if they were injured—and the families of the deceased wondering if their loved ones were killed—simply due to Amtrak employees not following the law.

Contact Our Train Accident Attorneys for Help

When train accidents occur, the injuries involved can be serious. Many people are also wrongfully killed each year by trains, and those who survive can lose limbs, and experience spinal cord injuries and severe brain trauma.

At Mike Walker Law in Clearwater, attorney Mike Walker has the resources and skills to handle legal complex matters tried against big companies on behalf of individuals and their families. His opponents know that he is prepared to take matters before a jury, and this approach helps him achieve strong results for his clients — favorable settlements that reflect the true value of cases. Contact the office today by calling or by getting in touch with Mike Walker online. Consultations are free and confidential.