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Four Amtrak Train Crashes Claim Eight Lives in Just Two Months

Amtrak Train Accident Lawyer | Railroad Crossing Accident Lawyer | Amtrak Wrongful Death Lawyer

Yesterday’s horrific collision between an Amtrak train and a CSX freight train in South Carolina was the nation’s fourth fatal crash involving the passenger railroad in just two months (between December 2017 and February 5, 2018).

In total, eight lives have been tragically lost in connection with Amtrak-related derailments, railroad crossing accidents and collisions since December.

February 4, 2018: 2 Amtrak Employees Killed When Amtrack Slams into Stationary Train in South Carolina

The February 4 crash near Cayce, South Carolina, killed two Amtrak employees:

  • Engineer Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Georgia
  • Conductor Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Florida

139 passengers and 8 crew were aboard Amtrak Train 91 as it traveled from New York to Florida. The passenger train rammed into a stationary CSX train around 2:35 a.m. on February 4, 2018.

At least 116 passengers sustained injuries ranging from minor scrapes to broken bones. Six were admitted to area hospitals.

The CSX train was parked on a load line when the accident occurred. Amtrak has confirmed that the passenger train should have been on the main line, just east of where the deadly collision took place.

CSX maintains the signal system in the area of Sunday’s crash. According to NBC News, the signals were offline at the time and the Amtrak train was being manually directed over telephone lines.

Just before the crash, CSX dispatch gave the Amrak train approval to enter a certain set of tracks. But the switch was in the wrong position, sending the passenger train down the wrong set of tracks and on a direct path toward the freight train.

January 31, 2018: Truck Driver Killed After Hit by Amtrak Train Carrying Members of Congress in Virginia

Just days before the fatal South Carolina crash, another Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat collided with a garbage truck in Virginia, killing the truck driver.

Witnesses to the crash claim that the truck tried to bypass the crossing gate, even though signals were warning of the oncoming train.

Shortly after the accident, Richard Anderson, President and CEO of  federally-funded Amtrak, told reporters that more investment is needed to make railroad crossings safer.

“The issue you had last week was highlighted because there were many Congressmen on that train,” he said. “But I can tell you that happens almost every day somewhere in America … and it has to do with people trying to drive around the arms that are down — just like this garbage truck did — and ignoring the bells and whistles that are telling you to stop because a train’s coming.”

January 15, 2018: North Carolina Pastor’s Wife Tragically Killed When Amtrak Train Collides with SUV

Pastor Eugene Lyon and his wife, Dorothy, died on January 15th, after their SUV was hit by an Amtrak train at a railroad crossing in North Carolina.

Dorothy was driving the SUV, and according to witnesses, piloted the vehicle around a lowered crossing arm. She was unable to cross the track in time to get clear of the oncoming train.

December 18, 2017: 3 Passengers Tragically Killed in Washington State Amtrak Derailment

An Amtrak train derailment near DuPont, Washington on December 18th  took the lives of 3 passengers and injured dozens of others.

At least 78 passengers and five crew were traveling on Amtrak Train 51 when it derailed at 7:40 a.m., just 50 miles outside of Seattle.

Several of the train’s cars careened off of an interstate overpass, completely blocking all southbound lanes of I-5 near Mounts Road in Pierce County.

The passenger train was on its inaugural run along a newly-established route – part of an $800 million project called the Cascades High-Speed Rail Capital Program – when it derailed.

The train’s engineer told investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board that he didn’t see or didn’t recognize the signposts and signals warning of a drastic drop in the speed limit as he neared an upcoming curve.

He applied the brakes once he saw a 30-mph marker at the curve’s entrance, just before the train veered off the track.

According to CNN, engineers and conductors had warned Amtrak supervisors that they did not feel adequately trained on the new route.

Contact Our Undefeated Train Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here

Our Undefeated Train Accident Lawyers continue to investigate the recent tragedies involving Amtrak and will post updates as more information becomes available.

Having won more than $1 billion for our clients – including hundreds of people throughout the United States who were injured or tragically killed in railroad crossing accidents, train crashes, and catastrophic train derailments — we have the resources, skills and experience needed to take on the largest transportation companies in the world – and win.

If you or someone you love were injured or tragically killed in an Amtrak accident, call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

All consultations are free. And because our firm only represents clients on a contingency-fee basis, you’ll pay nothing unless we win your case.