Conductor's Wife Alleges Negligence

In Sunday's train crash near Columbia

Patrick Gentry
February 08, 2018 - 2:51 pm

The wife of a conductor killed in a South Carolina train crash says two rail companies are to blame for her husband’s death.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Florida, Michael Cella’s widow accuses Amtrak and CSX Corp. of negligence. Cella and Amtrak engineer Michael Kempf were killed early Sunday when their passenger train collided with a parked CSX freight train. More than 100 passengers were injured.

Cella’s widow says CSX was negligent in locking a manual switch that forced the passenger train onto the side track where the empty freight train was parked. The suit also says CSX should have warned the oncoming Amtrak train about the switch.

The lawsuit accuses Amtrak, Cella’s employer, of failing to ensure he had a safe environment in which to work.

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