News Update!!: DuPont, WA: Latest Information: Amtrak Passenger Train 501 Derailment and Crash.

News Update!!: DuPont, WA: Latest Information: Amtrak Passenger Train 501 Derailment and Crash.

The National Transportation Safety Bureau has released more information regarding the derailment and crash of Amtrak passenger train 501 in DuPont, Washington.

The National Transportation Safety Bureau was able to download data and video recording from the locomotive giving more details into what caused Amtrak passenger train 501 to derail and crash.

The National Transportation Safety Bureau released their findings from the initial review of the data.


** National Transportation Safety Bureau’s Findings: **

  • The final recorded speed of the locomotive was 78 mph. The National Transportation Safety Bureau said the train was speeding in a 30 mph speed limit.
  • The crew was not observed to use any personal electronic devices during the timeframe reviewed.
  • About 6 seconds prior to the derailment, the engineer made a comment regarding an over speed condition.
  • The engineer’s actions were consistent with the application of the locomotive’s brakes just before the recording ended. It did not appear the engineer placed the brake handle in emergency-braking mode.
  • The recording ended as the locomotive was tilting and the crew was bracing for impact.

The National Transportation Safety Bureau says the entire investigation is expected to last 12 to 24 months.

Amtrak passenger train 501 derailed off the railroad track and crashed southbound Interstate 5 at 7:34am PT on Monday, December 18th, 2017.

At least 3 people were killed and 72 people were taken to near by hospitals following the derailment and crash of Amtrak passenger train 501.

The victims of the Amtrak passenger train 501 derailment and crash were identified as Zack Willhoite, an IT Customer Support Specialist; Jim Hamre, a retired WSDOT engineer; and Benjamin Gran, a big fan of Amtrak passenger trains.

According to Pierce Transit, Zack Willhoite was an employee since 2008 and was the Director of Information Technology for All Aboard Washington, a rail advocacy organization.

In a statement, Pierce Transit said, “He will be sincerely missed. Our thoughts are with Zack’s family, as well as the families of the other victims, during this very difficult time,”

The second victim, Jim Hamre, was a retired Washington Department of Transportation engineer.

Both men were devoted rail enthusiasts and members of All Aboard Washington and the Rail Passenger Association.

In a statement, Rail Passengers Association President Jim Mathews said, “Jim was among the country’s most-respected and effective rail advocates and a good friend and mentor to me. I will miss his counsel, and our community is poorer for his loss. Both Jim and Zack have been advocates of transit and passenger rail for decades, and we can’t thank them enough for their work.”

The Pierce County Medical Examiner identified the third victim in the Amtrak passenger train derailment and crash as 40 year old Benjamin Gran from Auburn, Washington.

Benjamin Gran had been ordered to a lifetime of supervised release following a felony conviction for child pornography.

Benjamin Gran had pleaded guilty and served 2 years in prison before his release in 2015 and was also ordered to register as a sex offender.

According to the Emily Langlie, Spokeswoman for the United States Attorney’s Office in Seattle, the prosecutor was notified Wednesday of Benjamin Gran’s death.

Benjamin Gran’s mother, Linda Daniels, described her son as “Amtrak’s biggest fan” and said he recently turned his life around after serving his sentence for a child pornography possession.

Linda Daniels blamed the crime on what she called Benjamin Gran’s, “severe autism.”

“He made a mistake. He paid for it. He died in the best part of his life,” said Linda Daniels.

** ZachNews sends our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the family and friends of the victims in the Amtrak passenger train #501 derailment and crash. **

Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates with more information regarding this news story.

** Pictures from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and NBC affiliate KING Channel 5: **

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