Infographic: Amtrak Train Crash In Numbers

Amtrak Train Crash In Numbers

The recent Amtrak accident in Pennsylvania has left everyone scratching their heads wondering what went wrong. On the evening of May 12th, the speeding train barreled around a corner at 106 mph – more than twice the 50 mph speed limit – and derailed, causing massive wreckage. More than 200 passengers were injured in the fatal crash that left eight dead. So why was the train traveling at such a high rate of speed?

Investigators are still trying to answer that question. The engineer, a 32-year-old man from New York, was injured in the crash and is recovering from a concussion after losing consciousness. Both of the engineer’s legs are injured, and he has staples in his head. His last memory of the crash was regaining consciousness and calling 911. He is cooperating with investigators, and told them he does remember trying to slow down as he entered the curve.  The train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members and was en route to New York, when the derailment occurred.

A video of the Philadelphia crash shows the train steadily speeding up to 106 mph, but it’s unknown why. Was the engineer purposely speeding up around the curve? He submitted to a blood test and there is no evidence that drug or alcohol use contributed to the accident.  Investigators are considering the possibility that mechanical failure was to blame, such as a defect with the train or track.

Many believe that this tragedy could have been prevented through the use of positive train control. Positive train control consists of a signal system that senses curves and automatically slows the train.

In the wake of this tragic accident, what changes will lawmakers propose to prevent this type of accident from occurring in the future? Will there be stricter policies in place? Will there be new equipment on the train or tracks to better control trains traveling at high speeds? Will there be more funding put aside to make Amtrak trains safer?

Our law firm has extensive experience in train crash cases. In California, our firm and co-counsel represented victims in the Glendale Metrolink crash and the Placentia train crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of rail accident, contact our law firm for a free case evaluation.

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