A crash involving a commuter train and an SUV has turned out to be the deadliest in Metro-North Railroad’s 32 year history. According to officials a total of 15 people were injured, with seven people reported killed in the accident.
Investigators believe that the female driver of a Mercedes SUV may have gotten out of her vehicle to see what was hanging it up on the track. The driver then got back into the vehicle and tried to move it off the tracks when the Metro-North train struck her car at about 7:00 p.m. The northbound train dragged the SUV 400 feet The third rail of the track came up and rammed through the entire first car of the commuter train, according to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
Emergency crews came onto an “horrific and unimaginable,” scene Astorino said. The train was engulfed by flames, and the car was a melted and charred shell. Six of the seven fatalities were burned beyond recognition and required dental records to identify them.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority is fully cooperating with investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the investigation of the crash. Some estimate that it may take up to 12 months for the NTSB to conclude their investigation.
Thousands of people are injured or even killed in accidents involving public transportation. The cities and municipalities responsible for the safety and maintenance of these vehicles, whether they are buses or trains, have an obligation to insure that their transit services and the vehicles used for them are safe. Accidents can happen, whether by negligence or some other factor.
Companies that insure these transit services would much rather deal with the claims of the injured and their surviving families directly. The last things that these companies and the cities they represent want to have are for the accident victims to hire an experienced attorney. Insurance companies will attempt to convince victims that the initial settlement they offer should be adequate. Insurance companies will rarely offer the full value of your claim unless you have an attorney working for you that won’t let them off the hook so easily.
Before you sign a statement or any settlement offer, call the Law Offices of Auger & Auger. We will be there to act as a representative between you and the insurance companies. We will also make sure that you receive what your case is really worth. While nothing will bring back the tragic loss of a loved one, we are here to help. Call us today.