An Amtrak train coming into Chicago from Grand Rapids, Michigan ran into the back of a stopped freight train this afternoon. The crash happened on Chicago’s south side. The engine from the Amtrak train hit the rear end of a Norfolk Southern freight train which was hauling shipping containers. Spokesmen from Norfolk Southern claim that the freight train had been cleared to be on that track.
Passengers aboard the train estimated its speed at 30 miles per hour. The impact threw the passengers from their seats. The only car to derail was the engine. The most serious injuries appear to be to the crew of the train.
There are a number of entities that potentially bear responsibility for this accident.
The first is Amtrak. Because Amtrak was carrying paying passengers, it is a common carrier and must exercise the highest degree of care for the safety of its passengers. The failure of the crew to stop the train short of the Norfolk Southern train ahead of its was ngeligence. The seond
The second is the railroad on whose tracks the collision occurred. Railroads allow each other to operate on their tracks, but traffic on the tracks is controlled by the railroad who owns the tracks. Having two trains on the same track that are apparently unaware of the other is negligence.
The third potentially negligent party is Norfolk Southern. If its train was on the wrong track or failed to properly advise the track controller of its location and activities, it may be found negligent as well.
All of the parties involved bear some responsibility for the injuries to these passengers.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Mass Transit Accidents.