Driving To Deliver Your Business

Garbage truck driver was trying to cross a closed level crossing when he was hit and killed by train carrying Republicans

  • Amtrak President Richard Anderson blames the crash on the truck that was hit
  • The accident was due to ‘someone was trying to drive around a cross-block’
  • A similar accident happened on 14 January when a North Carolina couples’ SUV was hit by an Amtrak train – police said they too tried to go round lowered gates
  • It has been a bad two months for U.S. rail travel, with three serious accidents

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A truck which was hit by a train carrying Republican[2] lawmakers at the end of last month was trying to navigate its way around safety arms at a railway crossing, Amtrak’s president has said.

Richard Anderson said the accident on 31 January in Crozet, West Virginia happened because ‘someone was trying to drive around a cross-block’.

One person traveling in the truck was killed, while another truck occupant and the driver were injured. Several people on the train suffered minor injuries.

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Above, an aerial photo from the scene in Crozet, Virginia on 31 January in the aftermath of the crash

Above, an aerial photo from the scene in Crozet, Virginia on 31 January in the aftermath of the crash

Investigators are still looking into what exactly caused the Crozet crash

Investigators are still looking into what exactly caused the Crozet crash

The Amtrak train was chartered by the Republican party to take Congressmen and their families to their annual retreat in West Virginia

The Amtrak train was chartered by the Republican party to take Congressmen and their families to their annual retreat in West Virginia

The truck driver’s company, Time Disposal, has declined U.S. media requests for comment.

Residents in the area say that in the days leading up to the crash, the crossing gates ‘weren’t working right’, often staying down for hours at a time with no train in sight.

According to one resident whose property backs up to the tracks, frustrated motorists were trying to lift the crossing bars to get around them, ABC[3] reported.

A similar accident is reported to have happened on 14 January when a North Carolina couples’ SUV was hit by an Amtrak train – police said it appeared the driver of the SUV tried to go around lowered crossing gates.

It has been a bad two months for U.S. rail travel, with at three serious accidents taking place in Tacoma, Charlottesville and Columbia.

In the most recent crash on Sunday, an Amtrak train carrying 139 passengers slammed into a stationary freight train parked on the tracks near Columbia, South Carolina.

According to Amtrak, CSX, which operates that area of track and its signals, flipped a switch, mistakenly diverting the Amtrak train off the main tracks and into the path of the freight line.

The National Transportation Safety Board are seen conducting their investigation of the deadly South Carolina train crash

The National Transportation Safety Board are seen conducting their investigation of the deadly South Carolina train crash

The Amtrak passenger train, that was traveling on the wrong track, slammed into a freight train parked on a side track in South Carolina early Sunday, injuring 116 people, authorities said

The Amtrak passenger train, that was traveling on the wrong track, slammed into a freight train parked on a side track in South Carolina early Sunday, injuring 116 people, authorities said

Sunday’s accident was the fourth fatal Amtrak incident in seven weeks, NPR.org[4] reported, and is part of what critics say is a broader problem involving a ‘lax safety culture’ at Amtrak.

The train was heading for Miami from Penn Station in New York City when it was diverted onto a side track. It then collided head-on with the parked freight train, killing two crew members and injuring more than 100 passengers.

Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board appear to be focusing on two possibly related problems that may have contributed to the head-on collision, NPR said.

One is the position of a track switch that steered the passenger train off the mainline track and onto the siding where the freight train was parked; the second is that wayside signals in the area were down for maintenance and upgrades, and inoperative at the time of the crash.

Meanwhile the New York Post[5] has reported that the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) – a GPS-based emergency-stop feature – was left out of commission in the South Carolina switch yard where the accident hardened.

The collision would not have occurred if a PTC system had been functioning there, U.S.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said.

The NTSB said the same thing after an Amtrak train derailed near DuPont, Washington, on 18 December when an engineer failed to slow down for a curve, killing three people.

PTC would have sensed where the train was and automatically slowed before it reached the curve, Mr Suwalt argued.

He has support from some on Capitol Hill.

‘People are dying,’ U.S.

Representative Sean Maloney, a New York Democrat, said in a statement. ‘We can’t wait any longer on getting PTC systems up and running nationwide.

Congress has delayed this deadline time and again and we’ve seen the deadly results.’

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Republican (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ ABC (abcnews.go.com)
  4. ^ NPR.org (www.npr.org)
  5. ^ New York Post (nypost.com)



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