Fleet Management

Judge Denies Retrial to Trucking Company in Amtrak Crash

January 28, 2016

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A frame from the NTSB animation recreating the accident. Image: NTSB
A frame from the NTSB animation recreating the accident. Image: NTSB

A Nevada trucking company has been refused a retrial stemming from a fatal 2011 accident in which an Amtrak train was struck by a truck along U.S. 95, causing the deaths of 6 people, including the trucker, according to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune.   

In 2014, a jury ruled in favor of Amtrak and ordered that the fleet pay more than $4.5 million in damages. John Davis Trucking was found at fault based on testimony from the National Transportation Safety Board investigation. That testimony contended that the driver was inattentive and the truck had poorly maintained brakes, which likely contributed to the crash.

John Davis Trucking was seeking a new trial, arguing that the judge in the original case failed to emphasize evidence that the signal and crossing gate at the railroad crossing were faulty. However, the federal judge felt that the trucking company had received a fair trial and that its new arguments were only rehashing old arguments that the court had already decided on.

The collision destroyed the truck and several passenger railcars. It also ignited a fire that engulfed two railcars and part of a third. The accident killed the truck driver, the conductor, four passengers and injured 15 more.

According to the NTSB investigation, the truck was traveling 58 mph and failed to brake until it was less than 300 feet from the crossing. Investigators determined that the truck was still going 26-30 mph when it struck the crew car of the train.

Nine of the 16 brakes on the truck were found to be out of adjustment or inoperative at the time of the accident and the antilock brakes of both trailers were not functioning.


  1. 1. George M. Taylor [ January 29, 2016 @ 07:57AM ]

    Being previously a locomotive engineer for over 40 years, I still have dreams about accidents causing deaths I had prior to my retirement 27 years ago [1988] Engineers face trauma from this accidents, the 1st call from Amtrak management usually is regarding damage the equipment..

  2. 2. Wayne Schooling [ January 29, 2016 @ 09:16AM ]

    This is why drivers MUST inspect their vehicles and REPORT ANY PROBLEMS!

  3. 3. jack little [ February 06, 2016 @ 10:41AM ]

    amtrak has a hell of a safety record to be pointing fingers at anyone else.What about the engineer that went in the cruve running 80 miles an hour in a 30 mile per hour zone??How about the amtrak that went off in the mississippi river and about killed everyone on board.. I would like to ride it once in my life from anniston to new orleans but with a safety record like they have, I dont care to leave my soul in the hands of some idiot driving the train,,

  4. 4. Smarter then you [ May 17, 2016 @ 02:16PM ]

    Jack Little, The Amtrak train that went off the MS bridge was from a moron tug boat hitting the piers and talking out the tracks, Was not a Amtrak engineer fault and at night, Tracks do not have street lights.


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