Investigators have determined that faulty brakes are to blame for a fatal truck accident involving an Amtrak passenger train killing six in Nevada in June 2011. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded its investigation on December 11.
The accident occurred when the truck collided with the Amtrak train at a railroad crossing. The NTSB investigation determined that the gate was working properly as well as the lights, and the driver was possibly fatigued. Faulty brakes were the main contributing factor in the accident. The driver, Larry Valli, 43 was killed as well as the train’s conductor and four of its passengers. The truck was traveling at 77 mph when the driver applied the brakes.
“This accident could have been prevented if the driver had acted appropriately or the motor carrier [John Davis Trucking] had acted responsibly in maintaining the vehicle,” says NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman.
John Davis Trucking’s negligence was a contributing factor in this tragedy, and they must be held accountable.
“I cannot imagine barreling down the highway at 60 mph and wait until you are less that the length of a football field before applying the brakes,” said NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt. “This accident could have been avoided if the driver would have applied the brakes 1.4 seconds sooner or if John Davis Trucking would have maintained the brakes as they should have been maintained.”
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