Deadliest Crash in Metro-North Railroad History
An investigation has begun into Tuesday’s night’s tragic railroad crossing collision between a commuter train and an SUV in Valhalla, NY. The motorist and 5 Metro North train passengers were killed, and at least 15 people were taken to the hospital for injuries, as a result of the evening rush-hour crash in Westchester.
The Jeep Cherokee SUV was reportedly stuck on the tracks between the closed crossing gates when the train slammed into it, causing a massive explosion.
Train accident attorneys warn of safety lapses
Though it may take weeks or even months before The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concludes its investigation into the causes of this horrific accident, the tragedy only heightens concerns that Tri-State area residents continue to have about the safety of commuter train services such as NJ Transit, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro North. If you or a loved one have been the unfortunate victim of a rail accident–including the Valhalla crash–you are legally entitled to hold responsible parties accountable in court.
The New York train accident lawyers at The Sanders Firm will aggressively investigate the circumstances of any railroad malfunction or crash that results in injury or wrongful death to our clients. Whether a mechanical defect, human negligence, or a combination of the two were the cause of an accident that led to your injury or losses, our NY personal injury attorneys will not rest until the true cause is revealed and victims have been fairly compensated for the damages they have endured.
“Gruesome” accident not the first for Metro North
The Westchester commuter train crash, which NY Governor Andrew Cuomo called “gruesome” after arriving on the scene, is only the latest in a series of deadly Metro North crashes in recent years. In 2013, a Metro North train running on a different line derailed in the Bronx, causing the loss of life of four commuters. In the wake of the crash, the NTSB launched an investigation into the safety protocols of Metro North and its main overseer, the Federal Railroad Administration. The results of this investigation were alarming, with New York Senator Charles Schumer described a “horror house of negligence, resulting in injury, mayhem and even death.”
The NTSB reported that in less than one year, 5 Metro North railroad accidents led to 6 deaths–not counting the latest fatal accident in Westchester.
Train evacuation procedures questioned
The SUV was reportedly carried 400 feet along the tracks by the Metro North train after the collision and explosion. The electrified third rail was ripped up from the track and sliced through the first passenger car. Several of the deceased victims were burned so badly in the crash that they will have to be identified through dental records.
Investigators have indicated that they will not only be looking into the circumstances of the crash, but also of the train evacuation procedure that followed. Accounts from passengers on the train differ as to how the accident was announced to them and what they were told to do. It is as yet unknown if improper evacuation procedures further endangered the lives of passengers and whether or not negligence on the part of Metro North in failing to implement reasonable safety protocols may have contributed to the accident.
NY railroad accident attorneys can answer your questions
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a railroad crossing accident in NY, or any mishap or crash involving the LIRR, Metro North or other commuter train, our New York injury attorneys are available for a no-cost, no-obligation legal consultation. We will outline all of your options, and help you take the first step towards justice for you and your family. Call us today at: 888-470-7941.
- New York Times, Metro-North and Railroad Regulators Are Criticized on Safety, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/nyregion/metro-north-and-railroad-regulators-are-criticized-on-safety.html
- LoHud.com, 6 dead, 15 hurt as SUV, train collide; NTSB probe team set, http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2015/02/03/train-car-collide-valhalla-mass-casualties/22822737/
- New York Times, After Deadly Metro-North Accident, Investigation Is Underway, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/05/nyregion/metro-north-train-crash.html?_r=1