On Tuesday, May 12, the Philadelphia community confronted profound loss and devastating tragedy when an Amtrak train suddenly derailed in Port Richmond. What should have been a routine, uneventful evening commute for the 243 people aboard and a smooth journey from Washington to New York instantly escalated to violent upheaval, chaos and horror.
The crash culminated in eight casualties; upwards of 200 passengers sustained injuries when they were forcefully flung from their seats as the train cars toppled and veered off the track. Amidst the wreckage of dilapidated, demolished and overturned train cars, responders scrambled to the scene to escort victims to local hospitals to receive emergency medical care.
Investigations are underway as authorities attempt to pinpoint the precise cause of the crash and to identify any precipitating factors that might explain why the train swung off course. According to reputable news sources, the train surpassed the permissible speed limit of 50 mph at a curve in the track, traveling twice as fast at the staggering, rapid rate of 106 mph. Authorities are investigating whether human error accounts for this accelerated speed or whether a mechanical problem, such as malfunctioning engine brakes or a runaway train, explains the train’s failure to decelerate. Additionally, authorities are investigating whether there was a breach of appropriate safety measures due to the absence of a positive train control system that would have permitted the train to gauge its speed and accordingly anticipate and prevent an impending accident by automatically decelerating and halting.
In light of these recent events, O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble extends our sincere condolences to the victims of the Amtrak crash and to those families who lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy. O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble has successfully represented injured parties and families in railroad accident cases. Our team of attorneys works tirelessly to bring victims of personal injury to justice. We have reached countless settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients to help alleviate the emotional and financial burdens of those whose lives have been so brusquely and unexpectedly transformed in the face of unforeseen tragedy.