The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Friday, December 8, 2017

Deadly Train Crashes in New Jersey

What are the causes of train accidents?

Trains are one of the oldest and most trusted forms of transportation in the United States.  While statistically trains are safer than travel by car, several major accidents in New Jersey highlight the potential risks of train crashes. Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers at The Cassidy Law Firm discuss some of the deadliest train accidents in New Jersey and the causes of these train crashes below.

The NJ Transit Hoboken Crash

The most serious train accident in recent history occurred in 2016 when a NJ Transit train crashed through a barrier at the end of the tracks in the Hoboken Terminal.  One person was killed in the crash and 108 people were injured.  While the crash is still being investigated, it is theorized that the train driver fell asleep and accelerated rather than braking as he approached the terminal.

Train Collision of 1996

In 1996, two NJ Transit commuter trains sideswiped each other, killing three people and injuring 168.  The accident was ultimately determined to have been caused by vision problems of one of the engineers.  As a result, the NTSB recommended better vision screening for engineers and an automatic system to stop the train if the engineer runs a signal.  All trains must have such a system in place by 2018.

Train Derailment of 1942

A horrific accident occurred in 1942 when a New York bound train jumped the tracks in New Jersey, killing five people and injuring 217.  The train was speeding at the time of the crash and the operator of the train was later determined to be under the influence of alcohol.

Train Wreck of 1911

In 1911, an excursion train from Utica, New York derailed, killing 12 and injuring 50.  The train was carrying mostly teachers.  The incident occurred after the train sideswiped an oil tank, coating the rails with oil and sending the train down a 40-foot embankment.

Train accidents are rare, but when they do occur, the result can be catastrophic.  Anyone involved in a train crash should consult with a personal injury attorney right away as these accidents involve complex issues of municipal liability.  

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