Around 9:00 P.M. on May 12, 2015, the full seven-car length of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 derailed around Frankford Junction, located near the 2000 block of Wheatsheaf Lane in the Port Richmond area of Philadelphia. Train 188 was traveling en route from Washington D.C. to New York, and was carrying a load of 238 passengers in addition to five Amtrak personnel.
Details about this terrible event continue to emerge as the National Transporation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to investigate the wreckage. Upon its recovery from the debris, the train’s black box indicated that Train 188 was traveling at speeds in excess of 100 MPH as it passed through the dangerous curve of Frankford Junction, which has a speed limit of just 50 MPH. The same junction was involved in another large-scale railroad tragedy in 1943, when another train derailment caused 79 deaths in addition to approximately 120 injuries.
If you are trying to locate a missing loved one, call Amtrak’s emergency hotline at (215) 246-9000 for more information. Our train accident attorneys will continue to post information to our website as more details are released. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, survivors, and their loved ones as Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation mourn this abhorrent tragedy.
Train 188 Derailment Accident Causes 7 Wrongful Deaths, Hundreds of Injuries
Miraculously, some of the passengers aboard Train 188 managed to escape the debris with only minor injuries. Sadly, many other passengers were not as fortunate. It grieves us to report that, at the time of this writing, the Amtrak Train 188 crash has caused at least seven fatalities in addition to more than 200 injuries requiring hospitalization, some of which have placed the victims’ lives in jeopardy. At least six survivors have been listed in critical condition.
The identities of several of the individuals killed in the disaster have been released to the public. The Amtrak crash wrongful death victims who have been identified as of May 13, 2015 are Jim Gaines (48) and Justin Zemser (21). In addition to the known survivors and fatalities, several additional passengers are being reported as missing, including 39-year-old CEO Rachel Jacobs. Once again, loved ones seeking information about missing persons should call Amtrak’s emergency hotline at (215) 246-9000.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are continuing to sort through the wreckage in search of missing persons and clues to the causes of the accident. While data taken from Train 188’s black box proves the train was speeding through the junction, the NTSB has yet to definitively attribute the accident to human error, a defect with the train, a defect with the track, and/or a glitch in Amtrak’s computer systems.
NTSB investigator Robert Sumwalt states the organization intends to analyze all possible factors which could have resulted in this horrific disaster. It is not yet clear why the train was speeding.
Medical Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Unfortunately, railroad accidents tend to cause catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBI) because of the enormous speed and force which are involved. Many of the Train 188 accident injuries were caused by factors like passengers falling into each other or being struck by falling objects. External blows to the head often result in concussions and other serious brain injuries, which can have a range of debilitating medical effects depending on the area of the brain affected.
Some of the potential health consequences and medical complications that can arise from TBI injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Difficulty speaking, understanding language, and communicating, including slurred speech. This condition is called aphasia, which takes different forms such as global aphasia and Broca’s aphasia.
- Inability to form and/or retain memories and information.
- Mood disturbances and changes to the victim’s personality.
- Severe depression and anxiety caused by changes to the victim’s lifestyle and physical and/or mental functioning.
- Trouble perceiving smells, tastes, temperature, and/or pressure.
- Urinary incontinence or reduced bladder function.
- Vision loss and/or hearing loss.
Depending on the severity of the injury, victims of TBI may have to end or change their careers, hire caregivers, make costly modifications to their homes, and give up certain hobbies and leisure activities. All of these changes are physically, emotionally, and financially devastating.
In some instances TBI can be fatal. Our Amtrak derailment wrongful death attorneys are prepared to handle such cases on the victim’s behalf. We can also assist the victims of spinal cord injuries and broken bones caused by the Train 188 disaster.
Contact Our Philadelphia Amtrak Crash Lawyers
If one of your loved ones suffered a concussion or other serious head injury in the accident, our Amtrak crash lawyers encourage you to contact our law offices. Even if you aren’t quite sure whether you need help from an attorney or join an Amtrak lawsuit, we invite you to reach out to The Reiff Law Firm for more information and legal support.
Our phone lines are open around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so please do not hesitate to call us, no matter the time of day or evening. Your legal consultation is completely free of charge, and we will keep your information private. We will never charge you any legal fees unless we make a successful recovery on your behalf. Call our law offices at(215) 246-9000 to talk about how we can help you through this difficult time.