On Sunday, April 3, 2016, two people were killed and at least 35 others injured after an Amtrak train traveling the Northeast Corridor en route to Savannah, GA crashed into a backhoe on the train tracks. Up until recently, it was unknown how the train operator didn’t know there were construction workers on the track or how the backhoe operator didn’t know a train was coming. At this point, sources close to the investigation have reported that it was a lapse in communication during a shift change that put two long-time Amtrak employees on the tracks that morning, in the path of the oncoming Palmetto 89 that would ultimately bring about their demise.
But the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has been urging railroads, including Amtrak, to install backup safety procedures for some time now. According to a 2014 safety advisory released by the FRA, this incident of railway workers being hit or nearly hit by oncoming trains is an “infrequent, but repetitive” incident, “that appear[s] to be due to miscommunication.” The same advisory stated that backups were needed as a temporary solution to this deadly problem until the installation of positive train control (PTC), an automatic breaking system that is slowly being required of all rail companies.
Amtrak DOES have PTC installed at the section of the Northeast Corridor where last Sunday’s accident took place, but rail experts still assert that additional precautions, some having been recommended consistently for the last two years, are needed.
According to University of Delaware rail expert, Allan Zarembski, when safety rules fail, there are two solutions;
“You change your procedures,or you introduce new technology to prevent this.”
New Jersey and Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
Philadelphia personal injury attorneys and staff of Messa & Associates express our deepest condolences to all those who suffered loss after this great tragedy. If you believe you are need of legal assistance as a result of the Amtrak derailment, do not hesitate to contact our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts who are dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been injured in a train crash or motor vehicle crash, or have endured any other type of personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Chat representatives are standing by to answer any questions you might have regarding compensation for your injuries. If you are interested in seeking out legal representation as a victim of this horrible accident, do not hesitate to contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.