Amtrak train crash kills two, injures 116 others

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Jeff Blake/Associated Press

Over the weekend, an Amtrak passenger train traveling between New York and Miami was wrongly diverted to a side track and crashed into a freight train in South Carolina. Two Amtrak employees were killed and 116 of the 147 passengers on board were injured.

Amtrak train 91 should have traveled straight down the tracks but a rail switch had been manually set to divert to a side track where a CSX freight train was parked. A padlock held the rail switch in place which is standard procedure, but it’s unknown why or how the switch became aligned that way.

The two employees killed were train engineer Michael Kempf (54) of Savannah, GA, and conductor Michael Cella (36)of Orange Park, FL. Injuries of over 100 passengers ranged from bumps and bruises to broken bones. 116 passengers were transported to local hospitals for treatment.

No Positive Train Control

As has been a unifying theme in the multiple Amtrak crashes that have made the news in the last few years, positive train control (PTC) was not installed on the tracks where the crash occurred. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that if PTC had been installed on the stretch of track, the crash could have been prevented. Amtrak President and CEO, Michael Andersen, was quick to point out that the tracks where the crash occurred were wholly owned and operated by CSX. According to Anderson, CSX has complete control of the tracks, signals, and switches in the area where the crash happened.

Messa & Associates Personal Injury Attorneys Represent Train Crash Victims

Messa & Associates has a long standing history of successful representation of Railroad injury victims. Joseph L. Messa, Jr. filed a lawsuit in May 2015 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of 35-year-old Trevor Beddoe, a seriously injured victim of the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment. Messa & Associates also represents many victims of the 2012 Conrail derailment in Paulsboro, NJ that sent train cars into the Mantua Creek, releasing thousands of pounds of toxic vinyl chloride into the atmosphere. In addition, the firm represents the family of a deceased 17-year-old girl who was killed when the car she was a passenger in was struck by an oncoming Conrail train at an intersection that had no gates to signify or warn of oncoming trains.

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.


Call the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of Messa & Associates today to discuss your case with a professional who has the knowledge to answer your questions or submit a free online inquiry.

Call, toll-free, 1-877-MessaLaw (637-7252), or submit a free online inquiry form.

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Director of Marketing for Messa & Associates located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For all marketing or press release communications, contact

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