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California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
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   California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
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   Author  Topic: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada  (Read 532 times)
ClydeDET
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #20 on: Feb 6th, 2013, 6:25pm »
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If you notice, NTSB (National Transportation SAFETY Board), after finding what it deems the probable cause, the Board always has some ideas about how to improve  safety. Wide-spread use of auto train stop to keep people from running signals. Etc.  And those recommendations are sometimes common sense, and sometimes reach pretty far into "Is this REALLY likely to happen again?" and "Just how do you expect to do that and still have equipment that can do what it is supposed to do?"
 
I think looking at a heavy trailer that was separated from the tractor and rared up and hit the side of a bi-level passenger car at second level and saying "we need to go improving the sides of rail passenger cars resistance to penetration" is one of those WTF moments. AFAIK, this is an essentially unique moment - anybody know of another one like it? But it is an institutional bias in NTSB. One of those things they do.


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Charlie Ricker
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #21 on: Feb 6th, 2013, 10:00pm »
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I'm not aware of any accident like this--as with a combination-type vehicle. Like you said, this is a unique accident, but certainly something that "could" happen again. Some strange things have happened over the years, leaving these weird scenarios always possible.
 
I wouldn't be surprised at all to see these bi-level cars have to be reinforced as you said, and also other types of passenger cars made to further avoid penetration. Of course these costly measures would likely be passed down to the customers!
 
Charlie


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~Charlie Ricker

ClydeDET
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #22 on: Feb 6th, 2013, 11:06pm »
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Well, since the NTSB hs only advisory authority and the FRA will have develop and adopt standards and then AMTRAK order cars - I imagine the next order will be worn out from years of use before they have to buy ones with the armored sides...

« Last Edit: Feb 6th, 2013, 11:09pm by ClydeDET » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #23 on: Jan 6th, 2014, 5:18pm »
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now the lawyer for the trucking company is claiming various malfeasances on the part of the railroad:
 
http://www.rgj.com/article/20140105/NEWS/301050038/Lawyers-Amtrak-crash-evidence-tampered-with?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1
 
Among the claims:  
 
Quote:
lawyers for the trucking company say they have evidence showing the railroad companies tampered with a video of the crash and are hiding or have destroyed the gate arm from the crossing.
 
Steve Jaffe, a lawyer for John Davis Trucking Co., said the key issue in a federal lawsuit and about 25 Washoe District Court cases that were consolidated into one is “what Union Pacific did to the evidence and what role will that play in whether we can get a fair trial.”
 
The trucking company lawyers claim that a video from the train’s camera was altered to make it look like the crossing gate was working and say the actual gate arm has disappeared. They also are claiming that the data collector located in a small building next to the rail crossing contained no data.

 
The picture at the top of the article was mooched from the NTSB.  It can be seen here:
http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/2011/miriam_nv.html
 
The report itself:  http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2012/HAR1203.pdf  
(The link can be found earlier in the thread, but I am putting it here for the lazy, including me.


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ClydeDET
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #24 on: Jan 6th, 2014, 6:20pm »
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Don't think that claim is gonna fly high or far. Since there were other people stopped at the crossing.... Doubt they are gonna say "We stopped just for the devil of it, no signals, no, not working at all"... Not to mention what NTSB had to say. Don't think they are gonna get past the NTSB taking custody of the AMTRAK video, so it was never in UP control. Nor with the data in the signal hut having been lost when the hut was impacted by part of their truck IIRC the report. They just need to write a check...

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George_Harris
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #25 on: Jan 7th, 2014, 4:43pm »
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Clyde:
 
A quick re-read of the NTSB accident report leaves me astounded that this lawyer would even attempt these claims.  There is no indication that there was any doubt that all components of the warning system were operating properly.  Knowing the norm for NTSB reports, if there had been any possiblity that this would have been true, it would have been discussed exhaustively.  
 
Considering the NTSB analysis of the condition of the truck's braking system, the trucking company is probably wearing all the blame in this collision as the driver should have been able to stop if they were acting properly even with his failure to start stopping when he should have.  
 
There have been some claims that this crossing should have been grade separated because it was a US numbered highway.  Yes, in a perfect world with unlimited funds available, but US 95 is a relatively low volume road.  Remember this is Nevada and this location a long way from any population center.  The traffic volume given in the NTSB report was 940 vehicles per day, which is far below the capacity of a two lane road.  There are probably many grade crossings in Nevada that are ahead of this one on the list of need for grade separations.


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ClydeDET
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #26 on: Jan 7th, 2014, 11:00pm »
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Yes, in a perfect world, it would indeed be grade-separated, but that ain't the case and the world is imperfect. Given the driver's history (and the truck's condition) he might well have driven off a bridge and fallen on the tracks in time to have an encounter with the train.
 
This one is (or should be) on the trucking company. Defective truck, defective driver they shouldn't have hired, and trying ti make the defensive claim they have is jut nothing short of stupid. Sort of thing that is apt to get a judge mad at you and that generally works out badly for your client. And should. Ought to use any reasonable defense, even a far-fetched one. but not one that is just ridiculous.


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HwyHaulier
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #27 on: Jan 8th, 2014, 10:03am »
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Clyde - George - All -  
 
Oh, we all know what is going on here! This is another chapter in "Tales Of The Old West". Used to be, any grievance in points  
throughout the West, which could be fixed by some money, compelled engaging good Counsel. Client Plaintiff, and Counsel  
would proceed to file actions against "Uncle Pete" (which was clearly overwhelmed with so much of its own money)...
 
In so many of the more out of the way points, there another twist to the "Get Uncle Pete" strategy. Often, the Counsel of Record,  
and the Presiding Hon. Judge had both taken the State Bar Exam at the same time. (This was long before there a requirement of  
Law School.) As the years went by, of course they had maintained an ethical 'arm's length' distance. Who knows?
 
Here, from appearances at least, Defendant Counsel is trying for "Get Uncle Pete", all over again? In this disaster, won't work  
(IMHO). As far as the observation the grade crossing could use a highway overpass? Nice try? More dream world stuff...
 
...........................Vern......................
 


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Charlie Ricker
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #28 on: Jan 8th, 2014, 11:36am »
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I'm with you guys.
 
Clyde, I could not agree with you more, and any judge worth his salt (IMO) will swiftly toss this out, and hopefully with some biting words for the trucking company's counsel!
 
The combination of the truck and driver was indeed a ticking time-bomb and was a matter of time before it blew up. It's sad that he took other people down with him.
 
Charlie
 


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ClydeDET
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Re: California Zephyr vs Truck in Nevada
 
« Reply #29 on: Jan 8th, 2014, 6:11pm »
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on Jan 8th, 2014, 11:36am, Charlie Ricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I'm with you guys.
 
Clyde, I could not agree with you more, and any judge worth his salt (IMO) will swiftly toss this out, and hopefully with some biting words for the trucking company's counsel!
 
The combination of the truck and driver was indeed a ticking time-bomb and was a matter of time before it blew up. It's sad that he took other people down with him.
 
Charlie
 

 
Unfortunately, that sort usually doesn't go out alone. And the employer probably has or will hire others like him


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