A railroad maintenance worker is facing charges that he manipulated evidence following an Amtrak train wreck that left a Riviera Beach woman with life-altering injuries, according to a West Palm Beach police report.
The 52-year old of Miramar is accused of removing a circuit board from a black-box recorder and tampering with other evidence after the gate arms and signals at a railroad crossing near 25th Street and Windsor Avenue failed to deploy, causing a New York bound Amtrak train to smash into a 2004 Mercury Sable.
The force of the crash caused 24-year old Tairia Shanta Lee to be ejected out the rear window of her car even though she had been wearing a seat belt, the report said. Lee then was pinned to a chain-link fence. She survived, but sustained a serious head injury as well as other critical injuries.
Witnesses told police that the 52-year old was working on the railroad tracks prior to the crash and was waving traffic through the open gates. A video recording taken from the train shows that warning lights were not flashing and the gate arms were not down just before the train reached the crossing. The train’s operators attempted to apply emergency brakes, but was unable to come to a stop before striking the vehicle, the report said.
After city police arrived, they found the 52-year old inside a railroad maintenance shed near the crossing. The report states he did not leave the shed, where the black box was stored, until ordered to do so by police. The 52-year old declined to speak to officers, saying he was too emotional, the report said.
Accident attorney Jason Weisser of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck responded to this unfortunate crash. “This is a serious accident resulting in several serious injuries. We hope the investigators can quickly determine what caused the accident. Please be careful and obey the speed limits whenever you are driving a motorcycle, car, SUV or truck. We hope that all parties involved consult with an experienced trial lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident, call my office for a free consultation and find out what your rights are.”
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