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Fatigue and Human Error Possible Factors in NY Train Derailment

Officials investigating the train that derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in Bronx, New York over the weekend believe human error may have been the main cause of the fatal incident.

The passenger train, which was en route to New York City early Sunday morning, jumped the tracks after going into a curve at 82 mph, nearly three times the speed limit. Four people were killed and dozens more were injured.

Anthony Bottalico, the leader of the rail employees union and the representative for William Rockfeller, the engineer responsible for the crash, said that human error was what may have caused the accident. On the day of the crash, Rockefeller was on the second day of a five-day workweek and reported for duty at 5:04 a.m. after working a typical, nine-hour shift the day before. According to Bottalico, Rockfeller said that he had been in a daze and that his mind had been wandering when he realized the train was in trouble. Rockfeller allegedly caught himself dozing off, and put the train into emergency only six seconds before the train and seven of its cars jumped off the tracks.

National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said that investigators have not yet found any evidence that there were any mechanical issues with the train and New York law enforcement officials have launched a separate investigation to determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Rockfeller. Alcohol and drugs have not been cited as factors in the accident, and officials are still investigating the cause.

While trains and other types of public transportation are generally safe ways of travelling, the risk for potential injury is ever present. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the attorneys at Altman & Altman represent victims who have been injured in MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) accidents. MBTA accidents can include injuries sustained from commuter rail and subway accidents, bus accidents, as well as injuries suffered as the result of unsafe conditions on MBTA premises. Such unsafe conditions can arise in a number of locations including bus and train stations, inside a bus or train, on station platforms, stairwells, and elevators.

At the law offices of Altman & Altman, we realize the financial burden an MBTA accident can pose to an individual and his or her family. We have nearly five decades of experience handling all types of personal injury cases involving the MBTA, and we can assist you in your personal and financial recovery after your accident. We will help you obtain financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, long-term disability and care, as well as pain and suffering after an accident. If you or a loved one was the victim of an MBTA accident, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced MBTA Accident Attorneys. Our attorneys are available around the clock to answer any questions you have about your case, and initial consultations are completely free and confidential.