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2015 Halifax train crash

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2015 Halifax train crash

2015 Halifax train crash
Photograph of locomotive involved
GE P42DC locomotive #185 was hauling the train.
Date March 9, 2015
Location Halifax, North Carolina
Country United States
Operator Amtrak
Type of incident Vehicle obstructing track
Cause Under investigation
Statistics
Trains 1
Passengers 213
Crew 8
Injuries 55
Damage Tractor-trailer hauling electrical equipment destroyed, Amtrak locomotive and baggage car damaged

The 2015 Halifax train crash was a derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Halifax, North Carolina, which occurred on March 9, 2015 when a truck carrying an oversize load[1] obstructed the line on a grade crossing and was struck by the train.

Contents

  • Accident 1
  • Investigation 2
  • Litigation 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Accident

At approximately 12:19 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, an Amtrak passenger train collided with a truck, which was obstructing the track on a grade crossing in Halifax, North Carolina.[2] The train was the northbound Carolinian, from Charlotte, North Carolina to New York.[3][4] There were 221 people on the train; 213 passengers and 8 crew members. Fifty-five people were injured in the accident.[5] The locomotive and baggage car left the track when it struck the truck, which was hauling electrical equipment.[5] GE P42DC locomotive #185 was hauling the train. The locomotive was turned on its side by the force of the accident, and one end of the baggage car was pushed into a brush-covered area next to the railroad right of way. The engineer was among those injured.[3]

The truck, an oversize load carrying a power distribution center to New Jersey, had a combined weight of 255,000 pounds, equaling 127.5 short tons (113.8 long tons; 115.7 t). The truck was being escorted by officers of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. The truck driver was having trouble negotiating a turn, and spent eight minutes backing up and moving forward repeatedly in an attempt to complete the turn at the correct angle. As the Amtrak train approached, the driver realized he could not clear the track in time, and exited the vehicle. The truck driver was uninjured.[6]

The truck's driver, 43-year-old John Devin Black of Claremont, North Carolina, had a valid commercial drivers license, which allowed him to haul the oversize load. Black had a history of 12 traffic violations prior to the accident, including excessive speed, and driving more than once using a revoked license.[7] The day after the derailment, authorities stated that no charges will be filed against Black in relation to this accident.[8]

At the time of the accident, the train was headed for New York City from Charlotte, North Carolina. A witness told a 9-1-1 operator that she did not hear a train horn, but that the railroad crossing lights were working at the site of the accident.[9]

Investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board was dispatched to the accident scene, and are investigating.[2]

Litigation

In the aftermath of the collision, both the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak, who owns the stock) and CSX Transportation (who owns the line) filed a civil lawsuit against Turner Transfer Company aka Guy M. Turner Incorporated, who operated the oversize load. The railroad companies allege that the trucking company, and driver John Black, caused the accident by negligently hauling the oversize load across a marked railroad crossing in an unsafe manner. Both railway companies seek in excess of US$75,000 each, as well as protection from any liability for either Amtrak or CSX.[10]

See also

  • Hixon rail crash - another case of an oversize load under police escort obstructing a grade crossing and being struck by a passenger train.

References

  1. ^ "More than 60 injured when Amtrak train hits truck, derails in Halifax".  
  2. ^ a b "Amtrak Train Crash in North Carolina: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know".  
  3. ^ a b "New York City-bound Amtrak train slams into truck in North Carolina, 55 hurt".  
  4. ^ "Passenger Train Collides With Truck in North Carolina".  
  5. ^ a b "OFFICIALS: 55 PASSENGERS HURT AS AMTRAK TRAIN SLAMS INTO TRUCK IN HALIFAX,NC". ABC News via  
  6. ^ "Amtrak Train Hit Tractor-Trailer Too Big for I-95".  
  7. ^ "Courts: Truck driver in NC Amtrak crash that injured 55 is a felon and repeat traffic offender".  
  8. ^ "No charges in NC truck-train collision that injured 55".  
  9. ^ "Amtrak train, truck collide in North Carolina, causing minor injuries".  
  10. ^ "Amtrak Sues N.C. Trucking Firm Over Crash".  
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