NTSB Releases Preliminary Report For Fatal Train Accident

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

Midland - The first preliminary report of the tragic train accident that killed four veterans and injured 16 more was released today by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report is a one page report detailing what went wrong on that afternoon, but perhaps the report has left for more questions than answers.

"I would have liked to have seen times of signal system announced on the report, but if there is any dispute at all about those times they will probably not get included in the preliminary," Bob Pottroff Attorney for the family said.

Time, is what the preliminary report lacked the only time the report mentioned was 4:35pm that's when the accident happened. There is no mention of what time the conductor blew the horn or at what time the gates came down.

According to Pottroff there is a reason as to why the report does not mention timing as much.

"It tells me that there maybe some questions in their mind as to that timing, I would like to have seen the times provided in the report, but evidently those facts may not be indisputable, Pottroff said.

Since this is the first report released by the NTSB Pottroff is not surprised of how simple it is, although many would've liked more details.

"It appears that they have not gotten into any of the analysis of the investigation where they are trying to figure out cause these are just background facts of what kind of accident we had," Pottroff said.

He mentions many things need to be resolved and analyzed before the NTSB releases the final report.

"You may have two or three sources of facts that don't agree with one another sometimes you'll have the video versus an event recorder versus an eyewitness. I know that in the preliminary report they try to stay away from resolving factual disputed and finding causes," Pottroff said.

The final report will take more than a year, but since Pottroff is conducting his own investigation of the fatal accident. He tells us not only will his report include the time, but says his investigation will conclude a lot sooner.

"We will be doing our own independent investigation and I anticipate our investigation will be done long before the NTSB's is done," Pottroff said.

The NTSB should conclude this investigation in 12 to 18 months.