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Train Crashes Raise Questions about Safety, Preventable Injuries

Mar 14, 2017

CSX Trains Crash in New York, Mississippi

Train Crashes Raise Questions about Safety, Injuries

Sadly, recent train crashes have made headlines, prompting questions about safety and preventable injuries. On Mar. 7, 2017, a CSX freight train derailed in Newburgh, New York. On same say, another CSX freight train crash occurred in Mississippi, killing four people and leaving another 40 injured. Early this year, an LIRR train also derailed, injuring more than 100 people.

The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing clients in lawsuits involving accidents. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a train accident lawsuit.

The Newburgh, New York CSX train was transporting hazardous materials, including sulfuric acid. The locomotive was also transporting sodium hydroxide, corn oil, cardboard and glass. Luckily, it appears that none of the materials spilled out when the trail derailed. The train did leak fuel, however.

According to NBC New York, the accident occurred when an equipment loader became stuck on the tracks. The CSX train struck the vehicle and derailed on River Road, near the line between Newburgh and New Windsor.

The Times-Herald Record interviewed a Steelways Inc. employee who said he saw the train approaching while his coworker was driving the forklift across the track. "I screamed for him to get out of the basket," the employee said. "There was no way he was going to get off (the tracks) at that point." Fortunately, his coworker escaped in time before the train crashed into the forklift.

The train crash occurred several blocks away from the office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, NBC reports. "While we don't yet know why the train derailed, we do know that outdated train cars barreling down the Hudson River carrying hazardous materials are literally a train wreck waiting to happen," Maloney said. "We have to get smarter about how we transport crude oil, and invest in installing positive train control on all our trains,"

Another CSX train crash occurred on the same day in Biloxi, Mississippi. NBC reports that a train struck a charter bus stuck on the tracks. Four people died and another 40 were injured in the train accident. The bus was transporting 48 passengers and a driver, who were headed to a casino trip. At least one person was shoved under the bus when the accident occurred.

It is unclear why the bus was stuck on the tracks.

LIRR Train Derails, Injuring 100 People

LIRR Train Derails, Injuring 100 People

An LIRR Train crash occurred on Jan. 4. 2017 at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. The train derailed, and more than 100 people were injured. Fortunately, most of the injuries were reportedly minor.

The train went through the bump block at the end of the track, causing the first car to derail. According to Newsday, the train was moving at a "fairly low rate of speed" when the accident occurred. Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated that "The train came in and hit the so-called bumping block and went by it for a few feet,"

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast commented, "Obviously the train is supposed to stop short of the bumping block. It did not do that,"

"Thank God this was not a worse accident," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "This is, thankfully, a very contained accident."

The train derailed when the wheels "lifted up" and the train crashed into "a small room in the area that was at the end of the track," said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Dan Donoghue. "I don't believe anyone was in that room, and if they were, they must have got out quick, because that room sustained quite a bit of damage," he said.

In October, another LIRR train crash occurred near New Hyde Park station. The LIRR train crashed into a work train, injuring 26 people.

There are about 300,000 passengers on an average weekday taking the LIRR, which is the country's busiest commuter railroad. The trains that crashed did not have positive train control (PTC), a type of safety technology. Safety advocates and railroad worker unions have been pushing for PTC for a number of years.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority secured a $1 billion loan from the Federal Railroad Administration two years ago to install PTC on the LIRR and Metro-North Railroad. The agency faces a 2018 deadline to install the technology.

PTC utilizes GPS, wireless radio and other technologies to automatically slow down a train that is moving too fast or about to hit another train. The U.S. Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandated that all railroads implement this technology by December 2015. Due to the slow progress, however, the deadline has been postponed to December 2018.

The PTC implementation was prompted by a Los Angeles train crash that killed 25 people. The accident occurred when a commuter train struck a freight train.

NJ Transit Train Accident in Hoboken Kills 1, Injures 100

A fatal train accident occurred in September 2016, when a New Jersey Transit Train crashed into a Hoboken station. One person died and over 100 people were injured. Later on, an investigation found that the train engineer had undiagnosed sleep apnea. This condition causes patients to stop breathing multiple times while sleeping. The sleep disturbance can affect a person's functioning during daily activities, such as driving.

Upon investigation, officials learned that train operator fatigue can be related to undiagnosed sleep apnea. LIRR began testing its train engineers for sleep apnea last year.

Parker Waichman offers free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a train accident lawsuit. Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee, meaning you do not pay unless we win your case. The firm has decades of experience in personal injury and accident litigation.

Legal Help for Train Accident Victims

Parker Waichman has decades of experience representing train accident and other accident victims. If you or someone you know was injured in a train accident, you may have valuable legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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