Amtrak Accident in Tacoma, Washington
Amtrak Accident in Tacoma
On December 18, 2017, an Amtrak train carrying 80 passengers derailed near Tacoma, Washington landing on Interstate Highway 5 below. As a result of the Amtrak accident, three people are dead and twenty-three people are injured. It is reported that the train was traveling almost 30 mph over the recommended speed for passenger trains on this area of the track.
It is also reported that the Seattle mayor just 14 days prior to this accident had expressed his concerns that safety measures were being ignored simply to enhance perceived customer convenience. While it is not known exactly what the mayor was referring to, technology does exist that was not in place at the time of this accident. One type of technology that may have prevented this accident is something known as “positive train control”. Positive train control can control speeds of trains, track their movement, manually break trains, and enhance communication between multiple trains. While some tracks utilize the technology, not all do. The cost is significant. It is estimated that the cost of providing this technology for passenger trains exceeds 3 billion. Likewise, to utilize the technology for all freight railroads would exceed 10 billion.
Amtrak operators are “common carriers”. They owe an enhanced duty to protect their passengers from foreseeable injury. When safety is sacrificed for mere convenience, human lives are often lost. Here the cost is huge.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured as a result of a railroad accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Woodruff Johnson & Evans at (866) 400-4450 or fill out our contact form. It’s free, it’s confidential and we cover all of Illinois.