Railroad investigator says its wrong to point a finger at train engineer

Since Amtrak Cascades passenger train 501 careened off the tracks south of Dupont Monday, questions have been directed at whether the engineer may have been at fault because the train was traveling nearly 50 miles per hour faster than it should have been.

Three men died in the derailment. Nearly 100 others were injured.

On Friday, a longtime railroad investigator told KIRO 7, people should not be so quick to judge.

“Anybody who points their finger at this engineer in this accident is making a very bad mistake,” John Hiatt said.

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Hiatt is a former BNSF engineer who has been working as a railroad investigator with the Bremseth Law firm in Minnetonka, Minnesota, for the past 25-years. He lives in Puyallup, and has spent the four days since the deadly derailment speaking with multiple Amtrak and other railroad employees.

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