timberland womens boots sale Deadly South Carolina Amtrak Crash Is Fourth in Two Months
CAYCE, S. C. Sunday train collision in was the fourth fatal incident involving an Amtrak train since the start of December.
The circumstances surrounding each crash vary; in two cases, vehicles appear to have driven around the lowered arm at a train crossing. Sunday in Cayce, , Amtrak officials said. The passenger train had been diverted off the main track onto a rail siding, where it crashed into a stationary freight train, a National Transportation Safety Board official said.
Local officials said 116 people were injured and taken to local hospitals. Eight crew members and 139 passengers were on the Miami, Florida bound train, Amtrak said.
The victims were identified as train engineer Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Georgia, and a conductor, Michael Cella, 36 of Orange Park, Florida, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher.
Amtrak Train 91 was heading southbound and should have continued straight along the tracks, but the rail switch had been manually set to send the train onto the rail siding, where the CSX train was parked, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Sunday.
to that investigation is learning why that switch was lined that way,
Sumwalt said the crash could have been avoided ifpositive train control or PTCtechnology, which can automatically slow down a speeding train, had been in place.
Amtrak President and CEO Richard Andersonsaid the railroad is owned by CSX, which has complete control of the track, signals and switching where the crash occurred.
Investigators looking into the crash are focusing on the actions of the driver of the truck, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
Eyewitnesses have told NTSB investigators the truck driver was seen trying to snake his way through the crossing gates, despite signals that included lights warning of the oncoming train, two sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
Anderson told reporters on Sunday that the garbage truck bypassed the crossing signals in the collision. He said Amtrak and transportation and rail officials have to invest more in technology to make the crossings safer and educate people about them.
issue you had last week was highlighted because there were many Congressmen on that train, he told reporters. I can tell you that happens almost every day somewhere in America and it has to do with people trying to drive around the arms that are down just like this garbage truck did and ignoring the bells and whistles that are telling you to stop because a train coming. Both were in their 60s. It appears the SUV had driven around the lowered crossing arm, WNCN reported.
Whitakers police told the station a witness confirmed Dorothy Lyons was driving. Police didn know then why she drove around the crossing arm.
The couple couldn get out of the way in time to avoid the train, which was traveling about 55 miles per hour, the station reported. Both died at the scene.
Lyons church stood about 200 yards from the train crossing, according to WNCN.
The locomotive engineer told the NTSBthe train was traveling at about 80 miles per hour as it passed milepost 15.5 on the route, the NTSB said. He told the investigators he had planned to start braking about a mile before an upcoming curve with a 30 mph speed restriction at milepost 19.8, the agency said.
The engineer said he saw mileposts 16 and 17, but did not recall seeing milepost 18 or the 30 mph advance speed sign two miles before the curve, the NTSB said.
engineer said that he did see the wayside signal at milepost 19.8 (at the accident curve) but mistook it for another signal, which was north of the curve, according to the NTSB.
The engineer saw the 30 mph sign at the entrance to the curve and applied the brakes shortly before the train derailed, tumbling off the overpass as it entered the curve, the NTSB said.