The City of Chicago’s far-reaching borders incorporate some 237 square miles of land, and yet, for most of the city’s nearly 2.7 million residents, the majority of their desired destinations are just a few minutes, and a few dollars, away. No matter where one’s destination may be, the ubiquity of the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) public transportation options aim to ensure that all people are able to get where they need to go safely. The sheer size and scope of the network serviced by the CTA’s 1,800 buses and 1,200 ‘L’ train cars is enough to gain it recognition as the 2nd largest public transit system in the nation, however, due to the organization’s very nature as a facilitator of mass transportation (carrying approximately 1.6 million Chicago residents around the city every weekday), the CTA also assumes enormous responsibility in cases where passenger or bystander safety is compromised; yesterday, a serious accident involving a CTA ‘L’ train created just such an event.
Early Monday morning, an ‘L’ train traveling along the CTA Blue Line failed to come to a stop at its final station, the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, resulting in a violent collision with a safety bumper situated at the end of the track. The momentum of the train carried it forward, jumping the bumper and derailing its cars causing them to careen up a nearby escalator and set of stairs. Although initial reports claim that 32 people suffered serious (but non-life threatening) injuries as a result of the crash, in a miraculous turn of events, the incident did not lead to a single fatality. (City of Chicago; Chicago Transit Authority)
Currently, several officials believe that the operator of the train may have fallen asleep at the helm; however, said conductor required hospitalization for her injuries, and as a result, she has not yet been reached to provide a comment on the issue. Reports provided by the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, a local union group representing the operator, seem to support the likelihood of the driver falling asleep at the wheel, pointing out the fact that the individual driving the train had worked more than twenty hours of overtime during the week leading up to the incident. Authorities say they will remain on the scene this week reviewing station videos of the incident and analyzing reports showing communication signals, as well as information regarding the train’s condition at the time of the crash. In addition to local authorities, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will also be traveling to the scene of the accident in an effort to determine the circumstances that may have led to the train jumping the stations protective bumpers, which they had previously believed were capable of preventing such an incident. At present, neither officials, nor the CTA have provided a timetable for the reopening of the Blue Line O’Hare station. (Thomson Reuters)
If you have sustained serious injuries due to the negligence of a company, designer, manufacturer, or employee, you may be entitled to compensation for your hardships. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience dealing with Chicago personal injury lawsuits, recovering more than $520 million in successful settlements for our clients and their families since 1992. Our firm is committed to holding careless and reckless parties accountable for their actions, and also to ensuring that the victims of these accidents receive the indemnities rightfully owed to them. These settlements prove invaluable in easing the financial burdens of injury victims, allowing them to pay accumulated medical bills, make up for lost wages, and cover future healthcare costs. This allows our clients to reach a point of much-needed emotional and fiscal relief, providing them with the opportunity to shift their focus to what matters the most, their own recovery.