The Amtrak lines are indispensable for Philadelphians and many Americans who want to travel from city-to-city without the hassles of driving their own vehicle. The Amtrak Northeast corridor line is particularly important for those in the Northeast who are looking to travel to or through the cities of Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, or Boston without flying. Unfortunately, like with all modes of transportation, serious accidents that produce catastrophic, life-altering injuries or death can occur.
Tragically, this possibility came to fruition with the derailment of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 near Frankford Junction in Philadelphia. Reports indicate that the train jumped the rails and came to rest in the vicinity of the 2000 block of Wheatsheaf Lane. While details regarding the accident are still emerging, there appear to be over 200 injuries and at least 7 wrongful death victims of the Amtrak crash. Many of these injuries are catastrophic life-altering or life-threatening including severe neck and spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, fractured bones, and others.
If you are still seeking information about your loved one that you have been unable to reach or contact, Amtrak has set-up an emergency hotline. Family members should call the hotline at (800) 523-9101 to receive up-to-date information about loved ones. The attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm extend our most sincere condolences to all families affected by this tragedy. We will continue to provide information regarding this accident as it becomes available. Furthermore, we offer our sincerest condolences to all the victims and survivors of this horrible event. We will continue to post information about this tragedy as more details come available.
Information Suggests Amtrak Train 188 Was Traveling at Excessive Speeds
While the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning details were scant regarding the cause of the accident, information released on Wednesday afternoon lends credence to the theory that human error was the chief cause of the derailment.
By Wednesday afternoon the train’s black box containing information about the train’s speed, engines, application of brakes, use of throttle, use of the horn, and what the engineer saw before the derailment had been recovered and partially analyzed. The information within the black box revealed that the train was traveling at twice the designated speed limit for this part of the track. At the curve, trains are only permitted to travel at speeds up to 50 mph. At the entrance and exit of the turn, the speed limit is 70 mph. Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was traveling at 100 mph in the moments before it derailed.
What Types of Injuries Were Inflicted By the Derailment?
While the cover of darkness concealed the true extent of the derailment leading to cautiously optimistic initial reports, in the end, it turned out that many serious injuries were inflicted among the more than 200 passengers on the train. Even more distressing is that at least seven people lost their lives due to this accident that appears to have been entirely preventable. Many survivors were transported to local area hospitals including two Aria Health facilities and the Temple University Hospital.
Reported injuries included one individual who was taken to Temple Hospital with what was described as a “massive chest injury.” This patient, unfortunately, passed away overnight due to the injuries sustained. Other injuries sustained included broken bones, bone fractures, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal injuries, facial lacerations, severe bruises, sprain/strained wrists and other painful injuries. Ex-Congressman Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania recounted that his neighbor had hit his had and was knocked unconscious. The former Congressman said he woke up his neighbor and encouraged him to get moving. He then worked to push out the emergency window he was sitting near and climbed out. Social media postings showed bloodied and bruised passengers crawling through overturned trains in an effort to find an unblocked exit from the overturned car.
Our Train Accident Lawyers Can Help
As a common carrier, Amtrak owes its passengers the highest duty of care and it must take precautions against all known risks to prevent serious injury from occurring. Sometimes, however, safeguards against known risks fall short. In other cases, human error may cause or contribute to a serious train accident. Our thought and prayers go out to all those injured in the Amtrak derailment and to the families of those lost in this tragedy.
Even if you aren’t sure you’ll want a lawyer or you don’t consider yourself the type of person to sue, the injuries you face may require years of therapy to recover from. We believe that the party responsible for your injuries should be held accountable. We encourage you to call us for a free and confidential legal consultation. Our attorneys are also available to travel to you if you prefer. We have fought for victims of serious accidents for than 35 years. We can fight for you. Call (215) 246-9000 today.