D.C. Red Line fatal train crash adds to long list of nationwide train failures.
Washington, D.C. (JusticeNewsFlash.com – Washington wrongful death lawyers news)–The fatal Washington, Red Line train wreck that left nine dead, and 80 people injured, revealed evidence that the emergency brakes were deployed in a desperate attempt to stop the Metro train from slamming into a stationary Metro train, as reported by the Washington Post.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) http://www.ntsb.gov/, reports the emergency brake button, which is sometimes known as the “mushroom”, was pushed. Upon inspection of the steel train rails, by Washington accident investigators, evidence was found the emergency brakes were engaged before the fatal train collision. Washington investigators also report the train was in automatic mode, which should have alerted the onboard computers of the stationary train on the tracks, and automatically stop the traveling train before the fatal accident occurred. In addition, the first two train cars on the Metro commuter train are two months behind on the scheduled maintenance of their braking components. This evidence has investigators wondering if the accident could have been prevented if the maintenance was performed on time. All of the findings point to numerous possible reasons as to why the train failed to stop. This was the latest of a stream of tragic train crashes across the country in the last six years.
The Associated Press reported from 2003-2009 there have been nine tragic commuter train accidents across the U.S.
• A city bus and a light rail train crashed in downtown Phoenix, leaving numerous passengers injured.
• 50 people were injured when a trolley rear-ended another trolley between two underground railway stations. The operator was reportedly text messaging at the time of the collision.
• A California Metrolink commuter train failed to stop at a red light near Chatsworth, Calif., which caused the train to slam into an oncoming freight train. The tragic train wreck left 25 dead, and 135 passengers injured. Investigators revealed the train’s operator was text messaging on his cell phone when the accident occurred.
• In Newton, Massachusetts, a commuter train crashed into another train, leaving the operator dead and about a dozen passengers injured.
• 450 passengers were transported out of the New York tunnel on a “rescue train”, when two subway cars derailed in New York City.
• Two crowded commuter trains crashed into each other when a suicidal man drove his SUV onto the railroad tracks. One train hit the SUV, and derailed into the other train. The Glendale, California train wreck left 10 people dead, and 180 people injured.
• A derailment on a Metra train left two people dead, in Chicago on Sept. 17, 2005.
• An Amtrak Acela Express train got stuck when its rear passenger car partially derailed while in route from Boston to Washington, D.C. No one was reportedly injured.
• A Metrolink train, packed with morning commuters, hits a truck, causing the train to derail in Burbank, California. The collision killed the motorist and injured 32 people aboard the train.
According to USA Today, the shocking number of commuter train crashes across the United States have prompted safety boards to ask the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/home in 2005, to establish rules that would require the strengthening of commuter rail cars against collisions. The FRA told the NTSB last year, it would not be possible to further strengthen the rail cars, leaving passengers and daily commuters wondering if it is really safe to travel by train.
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Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.