Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Scooped NTSB

This is just too good. Today, in the Washington Post:

Hersman said investigators are also examining the actions of Jeanice McMillan, the novice operator of the striking train, who was among those killed in the wreck. The steel rails show evidence that McMillan activated the emergency brakes 300 to 400 feet before the pileup, which occurred on a curved section of track between the Takoma and Fort Totten stations, Hersman said.



From my post yesterday, I said...

So if the second train was stopped a couple hundred feet on the other side of the bridge, just outside the visible line, the operator couldn't even have seen the train until she was within about 500 feet of it!


Who needs dozens of forensics experts when you've got google maps?

Some reports from passengers in the moving train said that they felt a bump of some kind before the impact but don't remember the train slowing down. The bump they felt was almost certainly the emergency brakes being activated, which would be jarring at that moment when first applied, much like slamming on the brakes on your car (your OLD car, the one that doesn't have anti-lock brakes) before it skids. This also indicates to me that the operator reacted about as quickly as is humanly possible given the set of circumstances.

3 comments:

lacochran said...

Maybe you should consider working for them. Seems like they're busy these days.

Titania said...

Jamie, you are a genius

IceCreamMan said...

Uh...
I've NEVER had a car with anti-lock brakes. And I'm not sure if I ever will. I don't think I'm going to own many more cars, and I'm certainly not going to lay out the cash for a BMW or something on the 1 or 2 I expect to buy in the rest of my life.