Chicago is unfortunately not alone in public transportation train crashes. As of late, other major metropolitan cities have also been involved in train crashes. On Sunday, December 1st, a Metro train in New York was also in an accident. Unlike Chicago’s “ghost train,” the Metro-North train derailed, causing a fatal accident. According to CNN U.S., the train derailed, injured 67, and killed four people.
However, whereas the Chicago blue line train had no engineer on board, earning it the title of “ghost train,” there was engineer on board the Metro-North. The engineer had been nodding off and “caught himself too late” before the train derailed and caused an accident.
Similarly to how safety mechanisms initiate on the Chicago blue line crash, this Metro-North train also should have sounded a warning before slowing the train in an incident where an engineer was unresponsive. The same article by CNN continued to describe how it is unclear whether these mechanisms were even activated before the crash occurred. Here too, the engineer’s car was equipped with a “dead man pedal” that needed constant downward pressure to keep the train moving. If this pressure ceases, a whistle should sound and the train should come to an immediate stop. It is unclear whether this “dead man pedal” was activated at the time the engineer nodded off at the controls. The National Transportation Board said it is possible that “positive train control” could have prevented the derailment.
Following this accident, lawsuits have commenced, consisting of claims of negligence. Two passengers on the train filed a notice of claim against the railroad, seeking damages. According to one victim’s attorney, the accident caused her to become pinned inside the overturned car for an hour, resulting in spine, collarbone, and rib fractures. According to the same attorney, the train was going 82 mph in a 30 mph zone.
Negligence in public transportation operation is no light matter. These accidents do not just pose a threat to a few people, as trains and buses carry many more passengers than a regular motor vehicle. Public transportation carries numerous people to and from metropolitan areas daily, and many people at one single time. Having the lives of many citizens in your hands at once is a serious matter and that is why it is crucial for conductors to operate at the highest level of care and also for transportation authorities to ensure that their employees are well-trained and well-rested each time they climb into the conductor driver’s seat. If you, or a loved one, has suffered injuries as the result of a negligent public transportation employee, you do not have to fight for justice alone. Victims often face serious injuries that have lasting effects. These injuries not only affect victims physically, but also emotionally and financially. There are experienced and successful injury attorneys who can defend your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact one for a free consultation to learn your legal options.