The MTA admitted that after a federal government investigation into a train crash in Hoboken in 2016 that killed one person and injured 100 more, it had failed to implement safety regulations recommended by the investigators of the Hoboken crash that may have averted the derailment of an LIRR train in Brooklyn shortly after the start of the New Year.
According to the New York Post, the Federal Railroad administration put out an advisory to train agencies in December telling them to increase communication between engineers and other crew members as they are approaching stations or terminals.
The renewed protocols were not in place when the LIRR train lost traction at Atlantic Terminal on January 4, MTA officials said, it was traveling at twice the speed limit when it derailed.104 people were injured as a result of the crash. As of yet, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and has not yet determined an official cause.
The MTA was in the process of putting the new changes into effect but were too little too late to avert the catastrophe at Atlantic Terminal. Since then, the have added in the recommended changes, making it mandatory that the conductor steps into the cab as the engineer approaches the final station.
Steve Morelli, a spokesman for the MTA, said that “we are taking an aggressive approach to the recommendations.”
Although the official reason for the derailment has yet to be identified, investigators are citing sleep apnea as a possible reason for the calamity. According to the Daily News, the MTA found that 12% of its workforce has been diagnosed with sleep apnea. 51 MTA workers have it and are now undergoing treatment for the condition.
Two people already filed lawsuits against the MTA. The first to do so was Clifford Jones of Queens Village, who sustained injuries to his right knee, right shoulder, his neck and his back. Jones also claimed that he suffered from emotional distress as a result of the crash. He wrote in his notice of claim that he would be suing the agency for $5 million in damages.
The second person to sue the LIRR is 63-year old Wanda Reich, who sustained broken ribs and nerve damage when passengers landed on top of her as a result of the impact from the collision. Reich’s complaint cites sleep apnea as one of the prime reasons for her lawsuit. Her complaint states that it is the MTA’s responsibility to ensure that the engineer is “fully cognizant and aware of his faculties” while driving the train
By: Kristina Stukalenko