Amtrak takes responsibility for wreck of Cascades train 501

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
Amtrak train 501
Aerial view of accident site in DuPont, Wash. | Photo courtesy of Washington State Police

KUOW radio, a National Public Radio affiliate in Washington state, is reporting that Amtrak has accepted liability for the accident on December 18, 2017, involving Amtrak train 501, the inaugural run of the Seattle to Portland Cascades service on a new routing between the two cities.  The derailment resulted in the deaths of three passengers and injuries to 65 others.

Mark Landman, Amtrak’s attorney, began his initial statement to the jury by saying “We’re here because Amtrak was negligent, . . . it should never have happened.”  Landman added that the jury only needed to deliberate on “what is fair and reasonable compensation.”

The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) final accident report said the derailment was avoidable.  The wreck was caused by the train going too fast into a curve, but the NTSB added that there were other precautions that could have been taken by the Washington State Department of Transportation, Sound Transit (which owns the track), along with Amtrak, to avoid the accident.

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