Trucking firm in fatal Amtrak crash has string of violations

Sacramento BeeJune 27, 2011 

The trucking company involved in a devastating big-rig collision with an Amtrak passenger train was cited for 17 maintenance violations in 24 months, an online check of safety records showed Sunday.

Details also began to emerge about victims in the crash, including an assistant conductor from Elk Grove who was injured.

Six people were declared dead after a driver working for John Davis Trucking hit his brakes, then skidded 320 feet before slamming into Amtrak's California Zephyr at 11:25 a.m. Friday at a crossing in a remote area of Nevada east of Reno.

The truck driver who died in the accident was a 43-year-old man from Winnemucca, Nev. His identity was not released, pending notification of his family.

An Amtrak official said Sunday that five of the passengers on the train's manifest remain unaccounted for.

The Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office, which handled the fatalities from the Churchill County crash site, had not released identities of the victims as of Sunday evening.

But the United Transportation Union identified one of the fatalities on its website as a conductor, UTU Local 166 member Laurette Lee, 68, of South Lake Tahoe.

An assistant conductor — Local 166 member Richard d'Alessandro, 49, of Elk Grove — was injured, according to his niece, Michelle Childs of Elk Grove. She said his right hand was burned and that he is expected to leave the hospital today.

Nine people were taken to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where a spokeswoman said Sunday that one victim was in critical condition, one was in serious condition and a third was in fair condition. Six others had been discharged.

Read the full story at SacBee.com

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