According to an article on today’s HuffingtonPost.com, authorities say five people remain unaccounted for and 6 are dead after an accident on Friday involving a tractor trailer and an Amtrak train. Investigators are searching for answers as to why the truck driver failed to stop before the crossing, which had its gates down and warning lights on.
National Transportation Safety Board Member, Earl Weener, said that the flashing lights at the crossing that are set to blink for 25 seconds before a train approaches would have been visible from a half-mile away if a motorist was driving the highway’s 70-mph speed limit.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen is quoted in the article as saying the investigation would include “not necessarily just drugs or alcohol, but fatigue, driver inattention.”
The driver worked for a family-owned trucking company out of Nevada. According to the article, federal records reviewed by The Associated Press showed the Nevada Department of Public Safety has cited the company for crashes, unsafe driving, and most seriously, operating a truck with tire treads so exposed that it had to be taken off the road. In that inspection, authorities deemed the rig an imminent hazard to public safety. The company was also cited for two crashes in the last two years, including one accident that injured a person.
Investigators will meet with the company this week to review the driver’s medical history, training, and experience, as well as his professional commercial driving record.
Until the investigation is concluded and all the details are revealed, we won’t know what caused this terrible and tragic crash. But it does cause us to think about the consequences that can result from driver inattention or driver fatigue. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a big rig, you may have a case. Contact the attorney team at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.