NTSB: Amtrak Train Sped Up Before Curve; Trying To Determine Why

National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) is trying to answer questions in the aftermath of the derailment in Philadelphia this week that killed 8 and injured hundreds others.  What we do know, according to NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt, In the minute or so before the train crash, the train sped up from 70 mph until it reached more than 100 mph at a sharp bend where the maximum speed is supposed to be 50 mph. It’s unclear, Sumwalt said, whether the speed was increased manually by engineer Brandon Bostian. Investigators have found no problems with the track, signals or locomotive. Sumwalt said the train, on a route from Washington to New York City, was on time as it left the station in Philadelphia a few minutes before the crash.

Mr. Bostian, who is recovering from multiple injures after the train crash, stated that he does not recall anything from the time of the accident. He has refused to speak to police at this point, but did agree to a meeting with the NTSB, which will take place in the next few days.

I think it’s clear, at least from the early investigation, that the conductor negligently drove the train up to 50 mph over the speed limit. This is what appears to be the cause of the train derailment. The question remains whether the conductor did this accidentally, was he distracted or was there a malfunction with the equipment? These are answers the NTSB, the victims and the family of the deceased all want. I will be following this case closely in the coming days and weeks.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a Chicago train derailment or Chicago bus accident or suffered from a wrongful death, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076

Horrific Amtrak Train Derailment Leaves 6 Dead, Injures Hundreds


Horrible news came in last night as an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia which killed 6 passengers and injured hundreds more. Multiple news outlets reported that the train, which was headed for New York, derailed at about 9:30 p.m. last night in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. Hospitals treated 200 passengers, with half of those being released overnight. Apparently one of those seriously injured in the train accident was the conductor.

The National Traffic Safety Board (“NTSB”) is currently investigating the cause of the train crash and spokesman said they would like to have some answers within the next 24 to 48 hours. CNN reported this morning that Investigators are seriously looking at speed as an issue in the crash. This is partly because of the angles of the train wreckage and the type of damage seen on its cars. To describe how violent the derailment was, an  U.S. Department of Transportation representative stated that the engine and two cars were left standing upright, three cars were tipped on their sides, and one was nearly flipped over on its roof. The seventh one was “leaning hard.”

Among other things, authorities will examine the condition of the track and the train, how the signals operated and “human performance,” NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said. The speed limit in the crash area is around 50 mph.

There’s not much for me to add to this horrible event other than the NTSB and U.S. Department of transportation will and should perform a thorough investigation on the cause of this train derailment. News reports do not indicate there is anything glaring right now that would pinpoint the cause of this crash. Regardless, I think we can assume there will be multiple wrongful death lawsuits from the families and estates of the deceased and personal injury lawsuits from those who were injured. More importantly, the investigation will hopefully give us answers on how this happened and how this can be prevented in the future.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago train accident or Chicago bus accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Questions Remain Following Blue Line Crash At O’Hare

Very early Monday morning, a Blue
Line train carrying passengers pulled into the station at O’Hare airport, but
instead of stopping, it derailed and crashed into a commuter escalator. As a
result of the train crash, thirty (30) passengers were injured. The Associated
 reported today the train was not speeding as it drove into the
station. National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) investigator Ted Turpin said a preliminary review of
Monday’s derailment at O’Hare International Airport showed that the train was
traveling at 25 mph — the correct speed — as it entered the
station. Turpin, who is in charge of the investigation, said an automatic
emergency braking system was activated on the tracks, but that it failed it
stop the train as it headed for the platform. “It activated,”
Turpin said. “That’s all we know factually. Now, whether it did it in time
or not, that’s an analysis that we have to figure out.”

Another issue that
has raised eyebrows is the possibility that the conductor of the train was
drowsy at the time of the train accident. Several news outlets have reported
that the conductor may have dozed off at the train crash, which would mean he
or she did not brake on time. That is why there is an emergency brake, but
according to the above reports, did not work properly.

If the injuries
sustained by any of the passengers were severe enough, then there will
definitely be lawsuits filed against the Chicago Transit Authority
(“CTA”). The basis of a Complaint at Law will be based on multiple
allegations. First, the driver negligently operated the train by not braking
on time. Second, the CTA was negligent for possibly allowing one of its’
employees to work too many hours or days in a row, thus leading her to doze
off. Third, the CTA did not have a properly working emergency brake, as it
clearly did not prevent the train from stopping or derailing. It could be
alleged that the emergency braking system was not properly installed. This
could in turn lead to lawsuits against the manufacturer or the subcontractor
who installed and/or maintained the emergency braking system. The answers to
these questions will not be known until the NTSB and other experts complete
their full reports on the accident. Regardless, there a liable parties out
there that could have prevented this train accident

If you or someone
you love has been injured in a Chicago train accident, Chicago CTA crash or
Chicago bus accident, the call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant
for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384. 

Four CTA Employees Suspended After Derailment

A weekend train derailment has led to the suspension of four CTA employees. Chicago Breaking News reported the story after a Green Line train derailment over the weekend, transit officials said today, pointing to a missed “stop” signal as the probable cause of the accident.

The front wheels on the first car of the six-car northbound train jumped the tracks at the 59th Street junction shortly before noon Saturday, said CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney.

The train remained upright on the “L” tracks. It was operating as a shuttle covering  part of the normal route, with one train operator in the first car and another in the sixth car, because of track construction, officials said.

“The investigation is still under way, but the preliminary indication is human error,” Gaffney said. “The equipment — signals, train and track — all appeared to be working properly.”

Investigators determined that the train operator disobeyed a “stop” signal and caused the derailment by driving the train over a track switch that was not aligned for the train to pass safely,  said CTA sources close to the investigation.

After the first car derailed, the train operator in the sixth car powered up the train and pulled it back in the other direction, apparently in  a bid to fix the problem, investigators said.

Click here to read the full story.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an Illinois car accident, Illinois truck accident or CTA accident then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.