What a tragic day it has been in DuPont, Washington. Amtrak train 501 set out early this morning heading on a new track, marking it as an inaugural run. Shortly after departure, the Amtrak 501 train derailed from the tracks, resulting in thirteen cars flying off and onto a highway below. The train had a total of 14 cars it was pulling. While there were many individuals who suffered injuries, both train passengers and motorists, a number of people have been killed as a result of the accident. Although CNN hasn’t reported that exact number yet, we know there are going to be several families struggling over a loss today.
What Caused the Amtrak Train to Crash and Who is Responsible for the Accident?
Because today was the first time Amtrak trains used the new Point Defiance Bypass route, there are a few possible reasons as to why this occurred, and it may stem from a flawed train or perhaps the track. CNN pointed out that while today was the first day of this new route for Amtrak 501’s Cascades service, the train tracks were not new. These tracks, which have been identified as the Point Defiance Bypass, are not owned by Amtrak but by Sound Transit. This company was responsible for managing the track upgrade and received funding from the Federal Railroad Administration which was expected to be used on the tracks.
So, was it a flawed train or did Sound Transit fail to upgrade the track in the manner that it needed to be done in?
When a senior public information officer with the company was asked if there were any issues or blockages to the track, she replied, “We are working with the Joint Command Center on scene to receive information from the incident investigation; no cause has been reported at this juncture in the investigation.” While it is still unclear what the exact reasons are as to why this accident occurred, hopefully the investigation that is conducted will help establish the true cause of it.
Was Negligence a Factor?
If is determined that one or more parties were negligent, which means they failed to take the proper care in handling their duties, the families who lost a loved one may be entitled to file what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit.
When a person or entity is responsible for causing the death of a person, they are also responsible for the repercussions of their negligence. Although a life cannot be replaced, justice can be served to the party who failed to do their job accordingly. The best way to become more aware of what a wrongful death lawsuit entails and how a family can take such legal action, it is best to speak with a qualified Washington wrongful death attorney. Knowing your legal rights in a matter such as this one is imperative as there may be several parties who are fault for causing the incident.