Posted On: June 26, 2009

D.C. Area Train Accident Investigation Unfolds

In the days following the tragic Washington area train accident as investigation into the cause of the accident is unfolding, more information has been revealed; however, much more is still needed. We now know that the train responsible for hitting the other train was operating in automatic mode controlled mainly by computer. But many questions still remain at this time including what caused the computerized system to fail and why the approaching train didn't stop even though the emergency brake activation button was found pushed down. According to an article, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, Debbie Hersman, said that it remains unclear whether the emergency brake was actually engaged or not.

No train accident has resulted in so many deaths and injuries in Metrorail’s 33 years of operation. Nine lives were lost and over seventy passengers suffered serious injuries due to the collision. Metro General Manager John Catoe said that all signs of the investigation show that the operator, 42 year old Jeanice McMillan of Springfield, Virginia did everything possible in her control to prevent the collision. "There is no evidence whatsoever that this driver has done anything to cause this accident," Catoe said Tuesday. A memorial service for McMillan, who was killed in the accident, is scheduled to take place on June 26, 2009.

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Posted On: June 25, 2009

NTSB Investigates Fatal Metro Train Collision

Time is of the essence for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) members as they work tirelessly to preserve as much evidence as possible in order to determine the cause of Monday’s fatal D.C. Metro train accident. At approximately 5 pm, two Red Line six-car trains were apparently on the same track when train 112 crashed into train 214, according to an account. The accident is the deadliest in Metro history and has brought tragedy to the families of the nine people who were killed; a loss that no one should ever have to endure and our condolences certainly go out to them.

The NTSB will be examining multiple factors that could have been the cause of this accident, one of which relates to the Metro’s 1000 series cars – the most aged cars in the system and the type that struck train 214 as it stood still. Aside from the car itself, the investigation will also include looking at the Metro’s train equipment, maintenance, functionality of the fail-safe computerized system that controls speed and braking, signal system, tracks, cell phone and texting records, and whether the striking train’s brakes were applied.

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Posted On: June 24, 2009

Death Toll of Metro Train Crash Rises to 9

It has now been reported that at least nine people have been killed in Monday’s tragic and fatal Washington D.C. Metro train crash. The collision occurred during rush hour on June 22, 2009 and has sent waves of shock and emotion throughout the nation. Such a catastrophic accident has never been seen in the history of the Metro’s thirty-three year transportation service. At this time, 76 passengers are reported to have experienced personal injuries including two in serious condition.

Jeanice McMillan, 42, the operator of the train, was among those killed in the D.C. train crash. Metro spokeswoman, Candace Smith stated that of the nine confirmed dead, two victims were men and seven were women.

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Posted On: June 23, 2009

Metro Train Crash Kills at Least Six between D.C. and Maryland Border

A fatal Washington D.C. metro train crash has left at least six dead and as many as seventy-six others injured. The accident, which occurred on Monday, June 22, 2009 just after rush hour, has left residents of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area shocked and saddened. According to one report, Metro spokeswoman Kath Asata said that a six-car Red Line train collided with another Metro train north of downtown Washington D.C. between Fort Totten and Takoma Park, Maryland and then derailed.

Mayor Adrian Fenty is calling this catastrophe the “deadliest crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.” The crash occurred just before 5 pm during rush-hour. It has been reported that 76 passengers were taken to area hospitals to treat their personal injuries, including two in critical condition.

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Posted On: June 11, 2009

Maryland Car Crash Caused by Negligent Driving

According to a TheBayNet.com report, a three-car collision near the intersection of Maryland Route 2 and Route 260 was caused by a driver running a red light. Police responding to the crash said that on the morning of May 6, 2009, the driver of the at-fault vehicle ran the red light at the intersection and careened into two other vehicles on Route 260.

No fatalities were reported in the crash, although four of the people involved in the accident were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital.

A car accident in Maryland like this can be especially frustrating for the drivers and passengers whose only fault was being at the wrong place at the wrong time. When other drivers fail to follow the rules of the road, others suffer—even if they were doing their best to operate their vehicles safely.

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Posted On: June 9, 2009

Maryland DUI Checkpoint in Force for First Weekend in May

On May 4, 2009, Gazette.net reported in a story that Maryland police will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint on Friday, May 8, 2009. The checkpoint is part of a larger multistate operation organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Called “Checkpoint Strikeforce,” the operation will last for six months consisting of a series of checkpoints and aggressive enforcement tactics conducted throughout Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Beginning Friday, May 8, at 9:00PM, the sobriety checkpoint will stop drivers and administer the standard battery of field tests—including the breathalyzer test—in an effort to deter motorists from driving while under the influence. The checkpoint will be operational until 3:00 the following morning.

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Posted On: June 4, 2009

Maryland Highway Flagger Killed by Elderly Driver

According to a WBOC.com article, a highway flagger was struck and killed on the morning of May 4, 2009 by a motorist in Marion Station, Maryland. Tammy Hammond, a flagger with Barrett Flagging Company, was struck on Route 413 by a vehicle being operated by 74-year-old Doris McDorman, a resident of Crisfield, Maryland.

At the time of the pedestrian accident in Maryland, Hammond was standing on the shoulder of the road and was within a work zone. Although an ambulance transported Hammond to a local hospital, she died from her injuries. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends as they deal with the loss of her companionship.

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Posted On: June 2, 2009

Montgomery County DUI Arrest Invalid after Security Tape Viewing

A Gazette.net story reports that an officer’s DUI arrest has been found invalid after an in-court review of a videotape which clearly disputed the facts of the arrest. According to the story, on May 3, 2008, Officer Dina Hoffman arrested George Zaliev on a charge of DUI in Maryland, claiming that she had found the man sleeping behind the wheel of his car.

When the case went to court, the arresting officer repeatedly testified that Zaliev was definitely in the front seat of the vehicle at the time of the arrest. However, during the DUI trial, the criminal defense attorney played a video made by a store security camera which clearly showed Zaliev sleeping in the backseat of the car.

Officer Hoffman now faces a perjury investigation in connection with her statements, and the charges against Zaliev have been dropped.

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