Rushed Training Blamed for Amtrak Crash that Killed 3 People
Rushed Training Blamed for Amtrak Crash that Killed 3 People

Inadequate training in an attempt to get a new train route open to the public may have contributed to the Amtrak crash near DuPont, Washington, last month. The December 18th accident killed three people and injured more than 100. It was the first journey of Amtrak 501 on a new route from Seattle to Portland.

Reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) now say that engineers and conductors warned supervisors about concerns with training for the new route. Several said the training was rushed and inadequate. In fact, some of the training runs were done at night, with six or more crew members crammed into three-seat cars.

How Did the Amtrak Crash Occur?

The train was traveling at nearly 80 mph while heading into the turn with a maximum speed of 30 mph. The engineer said he missed at least two signs warning of the speed change, and he applied the brakes as soon as he saw the sign at the start of the curve. The train then derailed as it entered the curve.

Several lawsuits have been filed since the crash occurred, one of which was filed by a conductor who was training in the lead locomotive when the crash occurred. The lawsuits claim that inadequate training contributed to the accident.

The route, the Point Defiance Bypass, was the final component to an $800 million project. The money was provided by a federal stimulus for high-speed rail. Sources say the money was due to run out soon, so there was pressure to open the line quickly.

Not the First Time

In 2016, another Amtrak train crashed near Chester, Pennsylvania. The accident killed two people and injured 35 others. The NTSB reported that the crash revealed a safety management issue at Amtrak. The report was released just one month before the December crash occurred.

“Amtrak’s failure to adequately train its employees for this route demonstrates a dangerous disregard for passenger safety,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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