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A New Jersey Transit train crew was found to have violated operating procedures after a man’s death in November, and as a consequence have been fired. The three crew members-the engineer, the conductor, and the assistant conductor- are appealing the ruling.

NJ Transit rules require one member of the train crew to be at the rear door of the last car, observing the platform through the window. Prior to leaving the station, the conductor or another crew member uses a buzzer to signal the engineer to proceed after all passengers are clear of the train.

Had the crew members been in their correct stations this accident never would have occurred. One of the employees would have spotted the man and would not have started the train.

The accident occurred on November 21, 2006 at 2:20 A.M. and took the life of John D’Agostino. The victim was leaving the train when he some how got caught on the rail car and was dragged to his death. The autopsy showed the cause of death to be from multiple lacerations, fractures, and cuts sustained when the train ran him over.

D’Agostino’s trip began when he boarded a train at New York Penn Station, he then transferred to a train in Long Beach that was to take him to Bradley Beach. But during the course of the trip the train struck and killed a young women and the remaining passengers were moved to another train. Once the second train arrived in Bradley Beach, D’Agostino attempted to get off the train. He had three cases of luggage, two of which he put on the platform while the third remained on the train.

Investigators think that D’Agostino had a mobility issue and had to use both hands to get off the train. “We believe his left hand was caught in the grab rail on the side of the rail car” said Dan Stessel, NJ Transit Spokesman. An inspection of the train found that there were no mechanical defects in the five rail cars that could have caused the accident.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Airlines, Cruises, Buses, and Other Mass Transit Accidents.

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