Many new developments have been made since Tuesday evening’s tragic and fatal Amtrak train derailment at the Frankford Junction curve of the Northeast Corridor in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. Since yesterday, there are now eight confirmed fatalities, around 12 passengers still unaccounted for, and over 200 injured. As of yesterday, there was also question as to what caused the accident, but investigations have revealed that the train was traveling at approximately 106 m.p.h. which was more than DOUBLE the speed limit at the curve. It was also discovered that the trains emergency break system was engaged just moments before the derailment.
The train’s engineer, Brandon Bostian, who suffered a concussions and received six staples for a head wound, was interviewed for six hours by police on the night of the accident. His lawyer told reporters that he has absolutely no recollection of the crash. His first memory is waking up among the wreckage and dialing 911 on his cell phone.
It has since been determined that the entire accident could have been prevented if Amtrak had installed an electronic train control system that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) required of all rail lines seven years ago. The federal deadline for the installment of the train control system on passenger railways and freight carriers, which has already been installed in other portions of the Northeast Corridor, is the end of this year. Many railways have asked for an extension of the deadline and Congress is considering offering another five years to get the job done.
Had this control system been in place on Tuesday evening, an automatic train slowing process would have engaged, allowing the train to successfully maneuver the curve at Frankford Junction without derailing. An onboard computer would have automatically engaged the train’s breaks, without the need for intervention from the engineer. The system is in place to help slow speeding trains, prevent train collisions, and enforce speed restrictions.
Philadelphia personal injury attorneys and staff of Messa & Associates express our deepest condolences to all those suffering loss after this great tragedy. We urge all who might be searching for family or friends to contact Amtrak’s 1-800 assistance line for help with locating their loved ones. If you believe you are in need of legal assistance for any reason, please to do not hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates by calling 1-877-MessaLaw or submitting an online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More