As the death toll from the deadly train crash in Santiago de Compostela, Spain approaches 80 people, American Myrta Fariza has been identified as the latest victim to perish as a result of this devastating accident. Fariza, who was accompanied on the train by her surviving husband, spent several days in critical condition before succumbing to her injuries, which included severe head trauma. While Fariza remained conscious and fought valiantly for several days, she eventually could no longer hang on.
While everyone’s hearts go out to the loved ones of those who did not survive, much of the attention at this point is focused on the train’s driver, Francisco Jose Garzon Amo. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Garzon is reported to have mentioned the excessive speed at which the train was traveling and his resultant inability to brake as the train pulled into a curve. The eight-car train, which carried 218 passengers, flew off the tracks and collided with a concrete wall.
According to the Spanish rail agency, the brakes should have been applied 2.5 miles before the train entered the curve. As a result of the crash, Garzon is being held by police on suspicion of negligent homicide. An investigation is ongoing, which will include an examination of the contents of information from the train’s “black box,” which records activity in the conductor’s compartment.
Despite the horrific images from the Spain crash, many maintain that rail travel is extremely safe on the whole. Experts such as Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council’s Yonah Freemark offer the following reasons for this assessment:
When accidents do occur, the time has come to speak to personal injury attorneys with specific experience in railway collisions and calamities.