A deadly crash involving two trains in Indian River County that killed 11 people was probably caused by human error on the part of the train dispatcher, the Post said.
As well as the deaths, more than 80 people were injured when two commuter trains slammed into each other on a single-line track near Fellsmere, 60 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Gifford.
An Indian River County police captain said his office has opened a criminal investigation against the 39-year-old dispatcher on suspicion of negligent homicide, bodily harm and interference with rail traffic.
“Had he (the dispatcher) behaved according to the rules, the trains would not have collided,” the captain said. He didn’t identify the man, who was interviewed by police in the presence of his lawyer.
Investigators believe the dispatcher, whose job involves directing rail traffic and ensuring safety on the tracks, sent a wrong signal to the trains. After noticing his mistake, he tried to alert the drivers using an emergency call but failed to prevent the crash, prosecutors said.
The two trains were supposed to pass each other at a station where the track was divided, but instead they crashed head-on in a curve.
Police said, a technical failure of the trains or signaling equipment had been ruled out, but investigators plan to reconstruct the accident to test their theory of what happened.
If convicted the dispatcher could face up to five years in prison.
Accident attorney Jason Weisser of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck responded to this unfortunate crash. “This is a serious accident resulting in fatalities. 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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