During the early morning of December 18, 2017, an Amtrak train derailed during its inaugural run on the newly opened faster route from Seattle to Portland. Onboard the train were 80 passengers, three crew members, and two service personnel. The train was traveling 80 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone as it approached a curve. The train derailed outside Tacoma, Washington from an overpass bridge onto a highway, killing at least three train passengers and injuring over 100 others. Additionally, several drivers were also injured on the highway onto which the train fell. Over 70 people were taken to hospitals following the derailment.
This crash occurred on tracks where equipment for automatic braking had already been installed but was still being tested, which is why the system had not been activated yet. This technology, known as positive train control, has been required by Congress to be installed on all railroads by the end of 2018.
Investigators say that it is still too early to tell why the train was travelling at such a high speed while approaching a curve. An investigation into why the train derailed is to take place within the following weeks.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accident, the experienced lawyers at the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner can assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.