2 Workers Fatally Struck by Amtrak Train

By Peter DePaolis

Two CSX workers were hit by an Amtrak train just north of Union Station suffering fatal injuries. The workers had exited a freight train to work on a technical issue when a passenger train struck them, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The collision not only suspended service but is now being investigated by NTSB accident professionals. Investigators are looking to see what caused the crash and how Amtrak workers did not see the CSX train operators.

What We Do Know

The CSX train was working its way to Union Station from Baltimore on Tuesday night. It received an automatic alert that indicated there was an issue with the train’s wheels. Dispatch told the crew members to stop the train and investigate the issue. The train’s conductors were the most qualified; therefore, they exited the train to investigate.

Just before 11:30 pm, the two workers had crossed onto an adjacent track that was “active” for passenger and freight trains. That was when they were struck by the southbound Amtrak passenger train that came out of Boston. Only the CSX engineer who remained on the train was unharmed.

The two workers identities were kept private.

Now, NTSB investigators are collecting evidence, reviewing footage of the tracks, and determining the cause of the incident. The speed limit for trains in that area is 95 miles per hour, but when the trains near Union Station that speed limit slows to 35 mph. No one is certain if the Amtrak operator saw the two workers before the collision.

No one was injured aboard the Amtrak train, and the train has 121 passengers at the time of impact. The exact number of crewmembers aboard the CSX train has not been confirmed.

Who is at Fault?

While the NTSB investigation is still on-going, it is impossible to determine who might be at fault for this tragic accident. Unfortunately, loved ones of these workers may wait several more weeks before finding out who is responsible.

In the event the case is ruled as a wrongful death, several parties could be held responsible, including the operator of the Amtrak train, the CSX company, and so forth.

Sadly, train accidents are highly complex incidents. They involve multiple parties, including privately-owned companies and government entities.

Each year, numerous people injured or killed in train and railcar accidents. Whether it is a track switching error, derailment, brake failure, or being struck by a train, these accidents are catastrophic and often leave victims with permanent disabilities.

When a person crosses railroad tracks, they are entering the railway’s property. A railroad company invites train operators onto that property and allows them to cross areas of the track. In this instance, the CSX workers were prompted by dispatch to stop and investigate the train; therefore, they had permission to stop and get out onto the tracks.

Speak with an Attorney Regarding Your Catastrophic Accident

Severe and traumatic accidents happen daily on the roads and rail systems of the country. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident, you do have the right to seek compensation. Speak with an attorney from Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP today to explore your options.

Schedule your consultation at one of our three locations or contact us online with your questions.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.