Dispatcher in deadly German train accident was playing a game on cellphone

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A deadly, serious train wreck in Germany from last February is making international headlines again after investigators determined that it was caused by a dispatcher who was playing a game on his cellphone until just before the accident, the New York Times reports. (“Dispatcher Playing with Cellphone is Faulted in German Train Crash,” April 13, 2016). On February 9, two trains traveling through Bavaria collided on a single-track stretch southeast of Munich, leaving 80 people injured and eleven dead.

After further investigation, German prosecutors have now issued a warrant for a dispatcher’s arrest, alleging that instead of properly monitoring the trains, he was playing a game on his phone. Authorities are alleging that the dispatcher was distracted and gave the trains the wrong signals and failed to properly alert them of the impending emergency. The dispatcher reportedly admitted that he was playing the game, but claimed he was not distracted. It was also reported that the trains were fitted with an automatic brake system, but no details have arisen yet about the brakes. The trains collided at approximately 60 mph.

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“A major reason why people everywhere should pay attention to this case is so that they are aware of the dangers that cell phone distraction can bring,” said Adnan Munawar, Partner at Munawar & Andrews-Santillo LLP. “When operating or guiding a moving vehicle, whether it be a train, car, truck or any other, the failure to pay attention, even for a split second, can have deadly results. Hopefully people can at least learn from this incident to put their phones away when they are responsible for a vehicle, particularly one carrying passengers.”

“Train accidents are particularly complicated because they can involve many different entities and are investigated by government authorities. Sorting out the details of a train accident can take months, even for experts, so it is never advised that victims of train accidents attempt to pursue their rights alone. Victims and their loved ones should enlist the services of a knowledgeable expert to help guide them through the process and all the entities and individuals involved to maximize their chances of getting much needed compensation. And remember, you can consult with a personal injury attorney at no cost, and you only ever pay a fee when you collect, you there are essentially no barriers to having an experienced advocate by your side.” – PRNewswire

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