At least nine people were killed and scores of other commuters were injured in a Washington D.C. train accident the evening of June 22, 2009. According to a Fox News report, one Metro train smashed into the back of another during rush hour traffic causing the front end of one train to jackknife violently into the air and fall on top of the other. Cars of both trains were ripped open and smashed together in what officials say is the worst train accident in the Metrorail’s 33-year history. Washington D. C. fire officials treated at least 76 people at the scene and many were sent to area hospitals including six people with critical injuries. Among the dead was Jeanice McMillan, operator of the trailing train.
Officials said the first train was stopped on the tracks waiting for another to clear the station ahead when the trailing train plowed right into it from behind. Officials have not been able to explain what caused this catastrophic train crash. The trailing train is said to be one of the oldest in the Metro fleet. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident.
My heart goes out to the families of the nine people who died in this train accident. I offer my deepest condolences to them. My prayers are also with the critically injured and their families. I hope they make it through their serious condition and recover emotionally from this traumatic incident. I sympathize with the many other victims who have suffered a variety of injuries including broken bones in this commuter rail crash. I wish all the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them all, including the emergency personnel who dealt with the terrible aftermath of the collision, in your prayers.
For us here in Southern California, memories of the Chatsworth Metrolink train accident in September 2008 are still fresh. In that train accident 25 people were killed and more than 125 were injured. The operator of that train, who also died, was said to have been texting train enthusiasts seconds before he bypassed a red light and crashed into a freight train. Last month, 50 people were injured in Boston when one trolley rear-ended another. The conductor admitted to have been texting when the crash occurred.
At this time, it’s not clear exactly why this Washington D.C. train crash occurred. Was the driver distracted? Was she texting or talking on a cell phone? Was fatigue a factor? How many hours had she been working on that shift? Was there a mechanical malfunction with that train, which is one of the oldest on Metro’s fleet? I trust we will start finding out more details as NTSB’s investigation progresses.
It is very likely that Metro will face some liability in this horrific train accident. The families of the deceased train accident victims and the other injured victims would be well-advised to contact experienced Washington-area personal injury attorneys who will be able to give them more information about what their legal rights and options are. I would strongly recommend that victims and their families get in touch with Virginia personal injury attorney Ben Glass (http://www.vamedmal.com/). I’ve known Ben for a long time. He is not only one of the best personal injury attorneys I know, but he is also one of the best human beings I know. My daughter lives in the Washington D.C. area. Had she been injured in this Metrorail collision, I would have Ben Glass representing her without a second thought. I know many personal injury attorneys in the Washington D.C. and Virginia area. Ben is the smartest, most well-respected and trustworthy personal injury attorney–one whom I would have representing my own family members.