CT MTA Train Derails, Collides With 2nd Train, 70 Injured

05/21/2013 // New York, NY, USA // New York Injury Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C. Reiter // (press release)

(New York Injury Lawyer News) A commuter train headed from New York City to Bridgeport, Ct, derailed and collided with a train traveling in the opposite direction, causing injuries to scores of passengers and crew members of each train. Both trains involved in the collision were Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) trains from New York. This accident occurred at the height of rush hour on Friday, May 17, 2013, at approximately 6:10 p.m.

According to Marjorie Anders, spokeswoman for the MTA, the collision occurred as follows: “an eastbound train, out of New Haven at 4:41 p.m. was traveling eastbound towards the Fairfield station, when it derailed on a portion of track and collided with a westbound train traveling on an adjacent track. The eastbound train hit the side of the westbound train”. Emergency personnel responded to the injured, some of who had serious neck and back injuries, and at least one who had serious head injuries. Approximately seventy passengers and crewmembers from both trains were taken to nearby hospitals, six of whom were in serious condition, and remained hospitalized three days following the accident. Preliminary investigation by the FBI at the scene of the accident revealed that there was no foul play involved in the cause of the accident. Board members of the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB”) were on the scene by the following morning, Saturday, May 18, 2013. The preliminary report by NTSB member, Earl Weener, focused on a segment of the track where the back end of the eastbound train appeared to have derailed. This area of rail was the in the vicinity of recent repair and construction work. According to Mr. Weener, the cause of the accident is under investigation, as follows: “The area of the rail was found to be fractured but it remains to be seen whether this was the cause of this accident, or the result of the collision itself.” The portion of rail was removed for investigation. Mr. Weener explained as follows: “The investigation of the cause of this accident will likely take weeks, and at this time, the cause of the accident is unknown”.

Jonathan C. Reiter, a New York personal injury attorney, with offices located at the Empire State Building, who has handled many mass injury cases, including World Trade Center cases, and aviation and train crashes, stated the following: “The NTSB is the federal agency responsible for investigating mass accidents such as the train accident in Connecticut. A major part of the investigation will be the scientific analysis of the fractured rail, along with the damage analysis to each one of the trains involved. Then, an accident reconstruction will be done to determine the cause of this accident. Indeed, it will take weeks if not months to make that determination, since it is impossible beforehand to determine whether the train derailed because of the fractured rail or whether the train derailed for another reason, and then the rail somehow fractured. The experts will be able to make that determination.” In any event, this accident involves many injured and some very seriously injured, to which Mr. Reiter explained as follows: “The types of head, neck and back injuries which have been claimed by at least seventy passengers and crew in this accident, can be severe injuries, often rendering the victim in pain for the rest of their lives. The victims often require lengthy medical treatment including physical therapy and pain management therapy. As for the serious head injuries, there are often life-long sequellae of these injuries, commonly known as post-concussive syndrome or closed head injuries, which manifests in symptoms such as headaches, loss of memory, loss of executive functions, sleep problems and post-traumatic stress disorder. These injuries are serious and permanent, and often require life-long treatment”.

At this point, it is important for all the victims to receive immediate and appropriate treatment for their injuries. Meanwhile, the NTSB will do its job in reconstructing the crash, and determining the cause(s) of this accident. It is through the investigation of the cause(s) that future tragedies can be avoided.

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