Last week in northwestern Spain there was a tragic train crash that killed 79 people and injured many others. The train conductor has been accused of and has apparently admitted to reckless driving and exceeding the speed limit. Black box data recorders retrieved from the accident show that the train conductor had been traveling as fast as 119 mile per hours in a zone where he should have been traveling 50 miles per hour.
In addition to excessive speed, the veteran train conductor has also been accused of driving distracted. The conductor received a telephone call where he was allegedly talking to the train’s ticket inspector just prior to the incident. He also was allegedly “reading a map or some kind of document” at the time of the train crash.
The train conductor has been charged with reckless homicide and was released without bail. Investigators continue to focus on whether the train accident was caused by human error other whether there may have been a mechanical or technical failure.
This accident continues to highlight the dangers of excessive speed and distracted driving while operating automobiles, buses, tractor trailers, boats, trains and airplanes. Accidents involving speeding and texting while driving are preventable and often the results of negligence and carelessness. They can cause needless tragedies, personal injuries and wrongful deaths.
Whiles laws vary from country to country, in the United States, if a railroad fails to meet their duty of care, the law provides passengers the power to seek justice against the railroad. Railroads can be held responsible or liable for sleepy or drowsy train conductors, conductors driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, faulty traffic signals at railroad crossings, etc, collisions, failing to maintain speed limits, driving distracted, failure to repair train cars, equipment and more.
Federal Railroad Administration states that approximately 1,000 people die in train accidents every year. According to the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) a person or vehicle is hit by a train every 115 minutes, often the result of derailment, train-train collision, train-car collision and train-person collision.
If you or a loved one has been in a train accident and suffered an injury or death, due to the negligence of an employer, a train conductor, or defective product, you have the right to pursue a civil law suit. Contact the train accident attorneys of Farmer, Jaffe Weissing today.