On Wednesday January 31, an Amtrak train chartered to transport Republican lawmakers to an annual GOP conference in West Virginia collided with a truck outside of Crozet, Virginia, roughly 100 miles southwest of Washington, DC. According to White House representatives, at least one victim was killed and another seriously injured. Other passengers aboard the train, which included members of Congress, some of their families, and staff aides, were transported to a local hospital.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is continuing its investigation of the Amtrak derailment in Washington State that killed 3 victims and injured over 60 others in December, reported that regulators were sent to the scene to collect evidence. Although still in its preliminary stage, their investigation will focus on determining what led to the incident, and whether it could and should have been prevented.
As Amtrak and other rail companies have faced considerable scrutiny in recent years following significant safety failures, sluggish implementation of safety technology like positive train control (PTC), and major accidents, the recent crash in Virginia will be closely investigated to determine if Amtrak failed in some way to take appropriate safety measures. Because the crash involved a collision with a motor vehicle – which is believed to be a commercially operated garbage truck – regulators will also look into the trucking operator and driver to investigate whether any possible violations led to the accident.
As attorneys who live and work in the same communities as many Congressional representatives and their families, we extend our thoughts to everyone affected by this incident, which was described as a chaotic and harrowing experience. We also offer our support as proven advocates of victims and families who suffer harm and losses in serious train accidents. Over the last decade, we have represented victims from nearly every major catastrophic train accident in the DC metro area, and have extensive experience litigating cases against Amtrak, WMATA, and other rail operators. Our firm will continue to follow the ongoing investigation.
If you wish to discuss your rights after a train accident, our award-winning legal team is available to help. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation.