On September 29th, 2016, a train was less than a minute from Hoboken station cruising in below the regulated speed of 10mph when, suddenly and without warning, the train accelerated to 21mph, double the regulated speed and crashed into the barrier at the end of the rail. When the train collided with the barrier it was launched through the wall and into the waiting area, killing one woman and injuring over 100 people.
After the dust cleared the authorities began investigating this unexpected and devastating incident, only to come away with more questions than answers. Why would the conductor of the train accelerate to the maximum speed less than one minute away, when he was already below the regulated speed to coast in? Why does New Jersey not have some type of fail-safe to prevent conductor negligence in a situation like this? Why was the event data recorder in the train that was supposed to record the train’s speed and braking information not functioning?
This accident that lead to a loss of life comes on the heels of the New Jersey Transit System being audited by the Federal Railroad Administration that uncovered “dozens of safety violations.” Since 2011 New Jersey Transit has paid out over $500,000 in safety fines to the Federal Railroad Administration. That dollar amount does not include any of the civil suits that could have been filed against the NJ transit for the harm their negligence caused. So far no one has any answers to what happened and the only step New Jersey is taking to protect against future harm to the community is having one more person in the conductor’s cabin when the train pulls into the final station.
If you or someone you know has been injured while on a train or a type of public transportation, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.