GPS System Could Have Stopped Deadly Amtrak Crash

At least two people are dead and 50 others injured after a passenger train collided with a freight train in South Carolina

At least two people are dead and 50 others injured after a passenger train collided with a freight train in South Carolina

The circumstances surrounding each crash vary; in two cases, vehicles appear to have driven around the lowered arm at a train crossing.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation of the collision with the assistance of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Two people on the Amtrak train were killed, and 116 injured when it slammed into a parked CSX freight train on a side track.

January 31, 2018: An Amtrak passenger train carrying Republican members of the U.S. Congress to a retreat in West Virginia slammed into a garbage truck at a rural Virginia road crossing, killing one person on the truck. And 116 people were taken to four hospitals, according to the governor. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher identified the men as 54-year-old Michael Kempf of Savannah, Georgia and 36-year-old Michael Cella of Orange Park, Florida.

The head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Sunday that the correct implementation of a key train safety feature could have prevented the early morning Amtrak crash in SC.

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It's been a decade since Congress approved a law mandating the GPS-based system called "positive train control", which is created to prevent two trains from travelling on the same track at the same time.

The system knows the location of all trains and the positions of all switches to prevent the kind of human error that can put two trains on the same track.

Investigators looking into the crash are focusing on the actions of the driver of the truck, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

Sumwalt said they've recovered a forward facing video recorder, and that's already been sent back to Washington, D.C. The event data recorders, commonly called the "black box" devices, have not yet been recovered. More than a hundred people were injured.

"The issue you had last week was highlighted because there were many Congressmen on that train", he told reporters.

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Positive train control is in place in the Northeast, but railroads that operate tracks used by Amtrak elsewhere in the US have won repeated extensions from the government. "I think we're just happy to be together".

Eugene Lyons, a pastor, and his wife, Dorothy, were killed in Nash County, North Carolina, when an Amtrak train hit their SUV on January 14, CNN affiliate WNCN reported.

In an afternoon conference call, Anderson said his company's train was traveling at approximately 60 miles an hour. Both died at the scene.

The lead engine and several passenger of Amtrak Train 91, which was operating from NY to Miami, derailed after coming "in contact" with the freight train, Amtrak said in an emailed statement.

"It's becoming nearly like an epidemic for Amtrak", said Najmedin Meshkati, a University of Southern California engineering professor who has studied positive train control. He told the investigators he had planned to start braking about a mile before an upcoming curve with a 30-mph speed restriction at milepost 19.8, the agency said.

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