There are very few things that are as alarming as when you hear about a train accident.
Thoughts go through your head, – “I take the train. My loved ones use the train. That could have easily been me or them in that train accident.” Those were the thoughts that went through my head this morning.
CTA Train Accident in Forest Park
Today, it was a L accident, the L is Chicago’s metro train system. Shivers went through my spine when I learned that a train collided into the back of another train on the Blue Line in Forest Park this morning. Many people, all who trusted the CTA to get them from point A to point B safely, were injured. Their trust has been broken. Frankly, I’m an avid train user and though I was not on the runaway CTA train this morning, I have lost some confidence in Chicago’s public transportation once again. When I take the train home tonight, I will be a bit skittish. The CTA has 1,200 rail cars that operate over eight routes and on more than 224 miles of track. CTA trains make more than 2,100 trips each day and serve 145 stations. I don’t think I’ll be the only train passenger a bit skittish regarding train travel in the coming days.
This Accident Should Have Been Prevented
What caused the CTA train accident is being investigated, but it seems that it involved a mechanical defect and/or malfunction. Generally, accidents involving mechanical malfunctions can be prevented by a combination of good design, good construction and appropriate maintenance. When one of those things is taken away, accidents happen. This negligence can result in serious injuries to innocent people.
While it appears that mechanical failure will be to blame for the train accident this morning, human error has not been ruled out as A cause or THE cause. According to 2 eye-witnesses, both CTA employees, said they saw no one in the control cab of the train that hit a train that was stopped at the station at Harlem Avenue. Regardless, one has to ask, why didn’t the train trigger a track switch designed to engage an emergency stop device? Could this be a combination of human error and mechanical failure?
Several people simply looking to get from point A to point B this morning safely, ended up in the hospital instead. At this point, it does not appear that any of the injuries are life threatening. However, reports indicate that many of the people involved in the accident were physically injured. The emotional number this accident will undoubtedly have on the people involved has yet to be seen. I would imagine the sounds of “STOP THE TRAIN” will be permanently etched on the minds of the people who were on that runaway CTA train. I am Matthew Willens, a Chicago personal injury attorney with experience in Mass Transit Accidents.