The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, better known as SEPTA, carries over 300 million passengers each year. Most SEPTA trips end safely, but serious accidents occasionally occur. One such accident took place this morning, August 22, 2017, when a SEPTA Norristown High Speed Line train crashed into an empty train stopped at the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, on the border of West Philadelphia. As of this morning, investigators are reporting at least 42 known injuries, four of them critical. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. If you or someone you love was injured in the 69th Street Station accident, a Philadelphia SEPTA accident lawyer may be able to help you recover financial compensation.
42 Injured, 4 Critically, in West Philadelphia SEPTA Accident
In the first minutes of August 22, between approximately 12:10 A.M. and 12:15 A.M., a Norristown High Speed Line train rushed into the 69th Street Transportation Center. The speeding train collided into a parked, unoccupied train that was braked at the station.
The violent impact caused at least 42 injuries – a number that likely would have been higher had the struck train been occupied at the time of the collision. Even with one of the trains completely empty, the collision was still powerful enough to cause significant destruction and injuries to passengers.
One passenger, who asked to be identified only as “Ronnie,” told reporters, “There was blood everywhere. There was this driver all banged up and there was this one girl bleeding out of her face pretty bad.”
Passenger Raymond Woodard, who briefly lost consciousness during the accident, confirmed Ronnie’s account, stating, “I’m super lucky because it was super bloody.”
At least four passengers were critically injured in the accident. Critically injured passengers were rushed to Pennsylvania Hospital and Lankenau Medical Center for treatment.
Others, including the train’s operator, have already completed treatment for minor injuries. According to a statement by Upper Darby Mayor Thomas Micozzie, the train’s conductor has been released from the hospital.
What Caused the 69th Street Station Crash in Upper Darby, PA?
Any time a serious railroad accident takes place, the first step is accounting for the passengers and treating the injured.
The next step is finding out what went wrong – and implementing measures to prevent the same type of accident from happening again in the future.
The 69th Street train accident occurred less than 24 hours ago, and investigators are still uncertain as to what caused the crash. It may take weeks or months before the authorities are able to identify the cause, with several critical details – including how fast the train was traveling – currently missing from the puzzle.
However, several possibilities are being investigated. The passenger who asked to be identified only as “Ronnie” wondered to reporters whether the train’s brakes were perhaps defective, adding that he did not believe the train’s operator was at fault for the crash.
However, like accident investigators, the passengers who experienced this horrifying event are also uncertain as to why the train was speeding – and why it failed to stop.
“I fell asleep coming from work. I heard the train going super fast,” said Woodard. “I look up and see we are at 69th Street and thought, ‘Why are we going so fast?’ Then we just hit the train, boom.”
Ronnie, though suspicious of the train’s braking system, was also unsure of the accident’s specific causes.
“I was waiting at Gulph Mills, the train came by and blew past us about two or three train lengths – stopped, backed up and picked us up,” he told reporters. “The same thing happened at Bryn Mawr – drove past, backed up, picked us up. We got to the terminal, I stood up to get off,” he said, “and smack.”
In Ronnie’s account, the train repeatedly overshot its destination and was forced to reverse to the platform. This detail may be a vital key in uncovering the cause of the crash.
SEPTA Train Crash Injury Lawyer Brent Wieand Can Help
If you or one of your family members was injured in the West Philadelphia SEPTA crash at 69th Street Station on Market Street, or if you or a loved one was recently hit by a SEPTA vehicle, a Philadelphia train accident lawyer can help you explore your legal options for seeking compensation. Compensation may be recoverable for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, and other damages. For a free consultation about filing a personal injury claim against SEPTA , contact Philadelphia personal injury lawyer Brent Wieand of the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (888) 789-3161 right away.
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.*