An investigation is now underway as to why a 14-car train jumped the tracks Monday morning in Washington, falling on Interstate 5 and killing three people.
Most of the cars flew off the overpass, some hitting vehicles on the road below, while others were left dangling in the air.
Federal investigators, trying to determine what caused a train derailment in Washington that killed at least three, said they have recovered the event data recorder from the rear of the train. The National Transportation Safety Board said information so far indicates speed may have played a role.
"Preliminary indications are that the train was travelling at 80mph in a 30 mph track," said NTSB Spokesperson Bella Dinh-Zarr.
This was the first trip for the new Seattle to Portland route. One local official seems to have predicted just a few weeks ago that something like this would happen. The town of Lakewood’s mayor, Don Anderson, had been very vocal at a city council meeting earlier this month, warning of the dangers of utilizing freight rail tracks for a high speed passenger rail line.
"This project was never needed and endangers our citizens," he said.
The tracks had been upgraded though, so officials weren't concerned about derailment but rather bringing a fast moving train so close to pedestrians and cars.
Thirteen of the train's 14 cars went off the tracks at an overpass, some tumbling onto Interstate 5.
"The train just started to, seemed like, go off on its side and then all of the sudden it went dark and stuff started flying around," Anthony Raimondi, a passenger on the train, said.
Investigators said it may take months before they know precisely what caused the accident.
The NTSB said it has not yet finished interviewing the conductor or all the crew members onboard to determine whether human error may be to blame.
- Investigators search for answers following devastating Wash. Amtrak crash that killed 3
- High speed Amtrak train derails near Tacoma, Wash.
- Amtrak Train Collides with Car, Killing One
- Oroville haunted Car Wash
- Identity Released of Man Killed by Amtrak Train in Chico
- Amtrak ready to accommodate holiday travelers
- Stranded Amtrak train passengers arrive in Eugene
- Humpback Whale washed up at Point Reyes
- Family: Dispute spurred fatal car wash shooting
- NTSB Investigates Redding Plane Crash That Killed Man and Dog