Amtrak Conductor in Deadly Olympia-Area Crash Sues Railroad
A conductor was riding in the engine of the Amtrak train that derailed near Olympia on Dec. 18 and now is has filed a lawsuit.
Little is known about what caused the train to derail, leaving at least one car dangling over I-5 near Lacey.
Officials now confirm the train was traveling in excess of 50 mph over the safe limit for the 14 mile section of track, according to The Seattle Times.
They also have determined the emergency brake was automatically generated, not pulled by the engineer as first thought.
Officials also say it's appears the conductor was 'not a distraction' to the engineer.
The conductor, 48-year-old Garrick Freeman, was on that route for the first time, to familiarize himself. Freeman has seven years experience according to his attorney, and had requested the ride to learn more about the new 14-mile bypass section of track that ran from Tacoma, through Lakewood to DuPont.
Officials say it's common for conductors to request such runs to become familiar with newer routes.
Freeman's attorney says he has filed a lawsuit claiming the railroad failed to provide safe working conditions, which resulted in the crash. Freeman is the first emplopyee to file litigation, along with one passenger.
His attorney says Ferguson was not the one legally responsible for the operation and safety of the train at the time of the crash.
The Times reported late Thursday the 55-year-old engineer is still recovering from injuries sustained in the crash that killed three people. His name has not been released.