Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire
According to a recent Washington Post article, city officials announced today that the Metro train that collided into another yesterday “was two months past due for scheduled maintenance on its brakes, and the car was an older model that federal officials had recommended be replaced because of concerns about its safety in a crash.” The authors of the article, Lena H. Sun, Lyndsey Layton and David A. Fahrenthold, reported that the death toll is now up to nine, making it the deadliest incident in WMATA’s 33 year history.
Making matters worse, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson confirmed that the train did not have data recorders, which would have detailed the movements of the train prior to the violent collision.
The Post report also commented that “a federal official said that the car was an older model, of a kind that Metro had been advised to replace because of concerns about how it would stand up in a collision. Metro did not do so, its leaders said, because they believed it would be too costly and complicated. Instead, they made some improvements to the trains’ braking systems and emergency exits.”
It seems that WMATA was putting profits over people in failing to do what was both needed and recommended. Although the cause of the crash is still officially under investigation, it is clear that driver error and system failures are the likely causes.
Officials have identified all of the dead, according to the Post report, including “Jeanice MacMillan, 42, of Springfield, was the operator of the striking train. The rest were passengers: retired Maj. Gen. David F. Wherley Jr., who headed the D.C. National Guard, and his wife Ann Wherley, both 62; Lavonda King, 23; Veronica DuBose, 29; Cameron Williams, 37; Dennis Hawkins, 64; Mary Doolittle, 59, and Ana Fernandez.” Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased and to all who endured this tragic crash.
Mr. Zambri has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specialize in personal injury matters. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against Metro and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. He has also been named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine.TransitAccidents, WMATA