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Train on a Bridge

train or Metrolink accidents

On April 18, 2008, at approximately 4:22 p.m., one of the worst accident in U.S. railroad history occurred when Metrolink commuter train 11, traveling from Chatsworth to Simi Valley on the Ventura County line, collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train traveling in the opposite direction near Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Chatsworth.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigated the cause of the collision, the Metrolink train ran through a red signal before entering a section of single track where the opposing freight train had been given the right of way by the train dispatcher. The NTSB blamed the Metrolink engineer, 46-year-old Robert M. Sanchez for the collision, concluding that he was distracted by text messages he was sending while on duty.

Following this tragic Metrolink accident in 2008, Congress passed a federal law called the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.   Among its provisions, the most notable was the mandate requiring positive train control (PTC) technology to be installed on most of the U.S. railroad to prevent human error spurred by the Chatsworth Metrolink tragedy.

Operators of trains or Metrolink are governed by the common carrier duty which requires that they “must use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, must provide everything necessary for that purposed and must exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill.”

Please contact the Law Office of Danny Soong or, if you or your loved one have been involved in a train or Metrolink accident.

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