Three dead, dozens injured in train derailment over I-5 near Tacoma

Image: KPTV

A new report is giving a better insight into the deadly train crash last month near DuPont, Washington, that killed three and left dozens more hurt.

While the preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board offers a clearer picture into what happened, the big question still remaining is why was the train going 78 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone.

NTSB investigators have not yet interviewed either operating crew member in the lead locomotive due to their injuries, they have reviewed video recordings and said an inward facing video camera with audio captured the crews’ actions and conversations.

About six seconds before the derailment the engineer commented on the speed of the train. The engineer applied the brake just before the recording ended, but it does not look like he placed the brake handle in the emergency braking mode.

Investigators also said there was a 30 mile per hour speed limit sign on the engineer’s side of the track posted two miles out from the bridge.

The final NTSB report may take another year or more to complete.

This preliminary report comes after several lawsuits have been filed against Amtrak.

Michael Krzak is representing Pennie Cottrell, a passenger on the train who was in Car 7 as it dangled over Interstate 5. He said his client is claiming the new line was not safe to begin with and training for the conductors was not adequate.

"This was a traumatic experience for her in being thrown around the car from her seat," Krzak told FOX 12. "Did Amtrak do enough to make sure the conductor operating the train was familiar enough with the route to operate the train safely?"

Attorneys said Wednesday they are working with other passengers and more lawsuits may be filed in the future.

Garrick Freeman, an assistant conductor on the train, is also suing Amtrak, saying the company failed to provide a reasonably safe place to work or enough proper training. The attorney in that case said Freeman is rehabilitation hospital recovering from a crushed pelvis and cracked ribs.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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