On behalf of Strom & Associates, Ltd. posted in Mass Transit Accidents on Saturday, March 29, 2014.
A horrific mass transit accident in Chicago is being blamed on train operator fatigue. The March 24 accident injured more than 30 passengers, according to reports, though none of the wounds appeared to be life-threatening. Initial reports show that the train crashed through a barrier at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, sending the rail cars onto an escalator at that facility.
Authorities say that the train operator may have been suffering from severe fatigue when she crashed through the end-of-the-line barrier at the airport. That incident occurred at about 3 a.m., according to union representatives. It appears that the driver may have dozed off at the helm of the train, causing the vehicle to plummet off the tracks and into the building.
Investigators are evaluating several aspects of the crash, as they believe the train may have been traveling at excessive speeds when the wreck occurred. Further, it is not clear whether required safety measures were working at the time of the accident. Investigators have left the train where it is, saying that the train’s position provides important keys about the mass transit accident. Authorities are also reviewing video data from the train’s outward-facing camera system.
The National Transportation Safety Board is involved in the investigation. Chicago transit officials have also pledged that the mass transit accident will be considered a top priority for the foreseeable future. It is not clear when the airport station will reopen.
Distracted or drowsy drivers can cause serious problems on the road, but they may also cause public transportation accidents on Chicago’s rails. Passengers who have suffered injury in such a mass transit accident may be eligible for financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and a variety of other civil claims. An Illinois attorney may provide additional information about victims’ legal rights and options.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Focus in CTA crash falls on operator fatigue, braking system” Peter Nickeas, Lolly Bowean, Richard Wronski and Kim Geiger, Mar. 25, 2014