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Amtrak Accident: Investigators Puzzled Over Recent Developments

By: Allan M. Siegel

Local and federal officials have been working around the clock since Tuesday’s fatal Amtrak accident to determine why the incident occurred. Since the crash - which killed 8 victims and caused numerous passenger injuries - new developments have come to light showing the train traveling at excessive speeds before reaching the curve where it derailed.

The latest round of new developments - which come less than three days from the crash - have raised new questions for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators.

Here are some of the most recent updates:

  • Based on findings from a video camera mounted to the train and other data sources, Amtrak Train 188 steadily and rapidly accelerated in the 65 seconds prior to entering the curve of track where it ultimately derailed.
  • Instead of slowing down to the curve’s 50 mph speed limit, it appears that the train sped up. Investigators state that the train was traveling over 100 mph 16 seconds before the crash. The emergency brake was applied shortly before the derailment, but by that time investigators say it was too late.
  • NTSB officials stated at a news conference that they currently do not know the reason for the acceleration. They plan to explore any mechanical malfunctions, in addition to the train engineer’s actions.
  • Investigators announced that they plan to meet with the train’s engineer - 32-year-old Brandon Bostian - in the next few days. According to comments from Bostian’s attorney, however, the engineer is having difficulty remembering what happened before and during the crash.

Although new information regarding the train’s speed has puzzled NTSB investigators, officials are committed to finding the answers victims and families deserve. Additionally, Amtrak officials have announced that they will be installing the latest rail technology - positive train control - along the stretch of track where the crash occurred.

You can find more information about train accidents on our website, or by contacting our firm.