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Safety Rules Not Followed in Fatal Amtrak Crash in Chester

RR crossing freight trainAn Amtrak crash that killed two and injured 30 appears to be the result of failure to follow basic safety rules. An investigation has revealed both Amtrak’s internal rules and federal rules were broken by Amtrak employees on April 3, the day of the fatal event.

Two employees who had been working on the track in Chester, Pennsylvania, died after they were hit by an Amtrak train traveling on the same track.

The crash occurred around 8:00 Sunday morning, near Booth Street in Chester. Two workers were on the tracks with a backhoe when the train, traveling from New York to Savannah, Georgia, struck them. According to investigators, concerns focused on how the personnel working on the tracks were not following proper safety precautions. Philly.com reported that sources with knowledge of the crash said a communication lapse between work shifts may have contributed to the crash.

Amtrak train victims identified

The two workers, veterans of Amtrak, were identified as Joseph Carter, 61, of Wilmington, Delaware, and Peter John Adamovich, 59, of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. Carter was identified in an autopsy report as the backhoe operator and Adamovich was his supervisor. Thirty of the 341 passengers on the train were also taken to nearby hospitals with what was described as “non-life threatening injuries.”

Philly.com reports that there are “multiple federal and agency rules and regulations” created to prevent incidences of trains traveling on the same tracks where workers are performing maintenance or repairs. However, the Federal Railroad Administration gave the first official confirmation that those rules and regulations were not properly followed in this particular crash. The president and CEO of Amtrak, Joseph Boardman, did not dispute the directive given by the FRA and stated the company would create a new internal compliance program to ensure these breaches are not repeated.

In the meantime, the FRA ordered Amtrak to require all of the maintenance workers and supervisors to review safety regulations that applied directly to their jobs. Amtrak must also review safety rules involving communication between rail workers and dispatchers. Finally, the company was instructed to perform similar reviews with all “safety sensitive” employees.

Multiple accidents within 12 hours

While train and railroad crossing accidents are relatively rare, three such accidents occurred within about 12 hours of each other on April 3. CNN reported that in addition to the Chester crash, a train struck an individual in Buck County, Pennsylvania, and another train struck a vehicle at an intersection in Somonauk, Illinois. This accident was also less than a year after another fatal train accident in Pennsylvania that took the lives of eight.

If you or someone you love is injured in a train accident, compensation may be available to help you pay for medical bills and make up for lost wages while you recover from the injuries. However, determining liability can be a complex issue as there could be many factors that contributed to the accident. Experienced legal representation is essential to ensuring your rights are protected.

Don’t try to navigate the complicated legal process alone. Contact Edelman, Krasin and Jaye at 1-800-469-7429 for a free case review with Long Island personal injury attorneys who can answer your questions.