Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, issued the following statement in response to today’s National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) preliminary report regarding the investigation of the Dec. 18, 2017, derailment of Amtrak 501 that occurred near DuPont, Wash.
“I have had an opportunity to review the preliminary report by the NTSB and hoped for more information regarding the circumstances leading up to the derailment. I was disappointed that neither the engineer nor conductor, two crucial witnesses to the accident, have been interviewed. The NTSB hopes to have the report done in 12 months, but could not guarantee that given the reluctance of key witnesses to testify because of litigation concerns. The Legislature needs to start asking some of the tough questions now, especially since this is the second Amtrak derailment in less than a year in our state and in my district. The risk of injury and worse demands that the Legislature take up the issue.”