Now, with the investigation wrapping up, the National Transportation Safety Board is meeting Tuesday to review the findings and determine a probable cause of the April 3, 2016 crash in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Backhoe operator Joseph Carter Jr. and supervisor Peter Adamovich were killed and 40 passengers on the New York to Savannah, Georgia, train were injured.
The NTSB’s investigation found that the maintenance crew failed to follow safety procedures designed to keep workers safe and that Amtrak management was wrong to let the work go on without a detailed plan identifying hazards and ways to mitigate them.
Amtrak contended that the work was part of an ongoing, routine maintenance project that did not require a detailed plan. Investigators, in a sharp rebuke that was not meant to be made public, said the railroad’s explanations “are simply a post-accident circling of the wagons to deny supervisory or management involvement in the review of a project gone bad.”
Toxicology reports showed that Carter, 61, had cocaine in his system and Adamovich, 59, tested positive for morphine, codeine and oxycodone. The train’s engineer, 47-year-old Alexander Hunter tested positive for marijuana, according to the reports.
Hunter is no longer employed by Amtrak. No amount of marijuana use by an engineer is acceptable, the railroad said.