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Two Railroad Workers are Killed in Amtrak Crash Near Philadelphia

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Two Railroad Workers are Killed in Amtrak Crash Near Philadelphia

By John Cooper, Railroad Accident Lawyer

Another terrible Amtrak crash near Philadelphia that claimed the lives of two railroad workers has highlighted how quickly things can go terribly wrong on the railroads.

A train derailed on Sunday morning when it hit a backhoe on the track near Philadelphia, according to reports


CNN reported on how the Amtrak crash near Chester also injured 35 people. The TV station reported on how two construction workers for the railroad service lost their lives in the crash.

The big unanswered question in the wake of the latest serious accident to involve a passenger train, is why the backhoe was on the track in the first place and why the train did not stop. The two fatalities were found near or on the backhoe, Pennsylvania Emergency Management spokeswoman Ruth Miller said.

The train continued its route from New York to Savannah, Georgia, when Amtrak construction workers may have been on the track.

The Amtrak train was carrying about 341 passengers and seven crew members when it crashed into the backhoe, Amtrak said. The impact caused the front engine of the train to derail.

Passengers said the train appeared to hit debris before it plowed into the backhoe. Passenger Glenn Hills told CNN he felt a “tremendous impact on the first car.”  He described how the roof of the first car was torn apart, and several windows on the train were broken.

The service between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware was suspended by Amtrak, as the Federal Railroad Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigate the latest derailment.

Amtrak trains have derailed with an alarming regularity over the last two years, raising questions about how the service is operated and the state of the track.

The latest crash occurred less than a month after an Amtrak train heading from Chicago to Los Angeles derailed in Kansas, leaving 32 people injured.

The most serious accident in recent years was also in Philadelphia. On May 12 last year a high speed Amtrak derailment in the city killed eight people and injured about 200.

Numerous lawsuits were brought following reports that the train went into a curve at 112 mph. Questions were asked about the role of the conductor after that deadly crash. This latest incident raises a whole new series of questions with human error appearing to be a likely cause of the crash.

The families of railroad workers killed on the job may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit under the FELA legislation. In the aftermath of a crash like this, passengers who are injured may also have grounds to file a lawsuit against Amtrak. Our railroad accident attorneys can help you with a claim. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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