The family of a 34-year-old woman killed in a New Jersey train crash in September that also injured more than 100 people filed a claim against the transit agency on Tuesday.
Fabiola de Kroon was fatally struck by falling debris after the incoming New Jersey Transit train crashed into the platform she was standing on at a busy transportation center in the city of Hoboken. De Kroon, a Brazilian-born attorney and new mother living in Hoboken, was the only fatality in the incident.
The claim alleged New Jersey Transit failed to take the proper safety measures to prevent the incident, including using an anti-collision system known as positive train control and providing adequate medical screenings for employees.
New Jersey Transit declined to comment on the claim, which is the first step towards filing a lawsuit against a public agency in New Jersey.
In addition to New Jersey Transit, which is the third-busiest commuter rail system in the United States, the claim named individual agency employees, including the engineer operating the train at the time.
The train was traveling at 8 miles per hour (13 kph) 38 seconds before the crash, then accelerated to a speed of 21 mph (34 kph) at impact, twice the speed limit, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report. Emergency brakes were applied one second before the crash, it said.
In the days following the wreck, NTSB officials said the engineer told investigators he was fully rested at the time of the incident but had no memory of it.
A lawyer for the engineer last month said his client was tested after the crash and diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, which can cause drowsiness.