Two truck drivers reported witnessing the crash as the lead semi-tractor in their convoy did not stop for the train crossings flashing warning signals and collided with the train, according to federal investigator Earl Weener and the Times
Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) June 27, 2011
According to authorities, and the Los Angeles Times, six people have been confirmed dead and twenty-eight are still unaccounted for in the Amtrak train crash that happened in the Nevada desert en route to Emeryville, California.
The Amtrak train crash occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. Friday between the California Zephyr passenger train, and a tractor-trailer. The big rig truck versus train accident, occurred at a remote highway crossing approximately 70 miles east of Reno.
The wreckage was not able to be entered by search teams till Saturday afternoon when it was deemed safe. Two of the passenger cars were burned out after reports that the ten car train exploded into a fireball.
The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team of 18 investigators to examine the wreckage and determine why the crash occurred. Two truck drivers reported witnessing the crash as the lead semi-tractor in their convoy did not stop for the train crossings flashing warning signals and collided with the train, according to federal investigator Earl Weener and the Times.
The LA Times says that those truck drivers’ descriptions of what occurred, are that there were warning lights, with the first warning approximately 900 feet before the railroad crossing gate, which Weener described as state of the art. There were also additional warnings at 650 feet from the crossing.
According to the NTSB investigators, there were skid marks made by the lead driver of the tractor trailers approximately 350 feet from the crossing. The driver was unable to stop and was killed in the collision, according to investigators. The LA Times reports that the rig owned by John Davies Trucking in Battle Mountain, Nevada, has not released the identity of the truck driver killed in the Amtrak crash.
The truck accident attorneys at Ehline Law Firm PC are interested in seeing any potential issues with the truck log, such as violations for lack of sleep, for example. According to NTSB investigators, the truck was hauling empty gravel containers at the time of the collision when it passed through the wooden gates and flashing lights. According to the Times, the fire that was caused by the collision made it too risky for crews to search the wreckage till Saturday afternoon, and the fire weakened the structure of the cars, causing a risk that they could collapse, according to Nevada State Trooper Dan Lopez.
According to Amtrak officials' early statement, there were 204 passengers and 14 crew members on the California Zephyr at the time of the accident. Amtrak officials stated they were going over the manifest to determine how many passengers were on the train and how many had bought tickets, but were not actually on the train at the time of the crash.
Train accident attorney Michael Ehline believes that it could be difficult determining how many passengers were actually on the train at the time of the collision, since this is unlike airline travel, where there are records of who actually boards the train.
The Times reports that the Investigators are focusing on the driver of the truck to determine what caused the collision, which will include a review of his driving and medical history. An autopsy is also planned and will determine if the driver had taken any drugs prior to the crash.
The Times reports that there were over 80 people transported to hospitals in Reno and surrounding areas, with some being transported by helicopters.
Nine people were transported to Renown Regional Medical Center, with six being released Saturday afternoon and one still listed in critical condition. 76 people were treated at Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon. According to hospital spokeswoman Amiee Fulk all of the train accident victims have been released by Saturday, with the exception of one person.
The rider’s injuries according to Renown officials, included blunt trauma, abrasions, lacerations, fractures and internal organ injuries. According to Amtrak crash attorney Michael Ehline, these are common injuries for train passengers that are involved in an accident.
If you or someone you loved was injured and wants to speak to a train accident attorney, contact the personal injury attorney at Ehline Law Firm PC at 213.596.9642. You need to understand that these types of crashes require more than just a general practitioner. We have that experience.