Trucking Co. Alleges Evidence Tampering in Deadly Amtrak Crash

Published on February 24, 2015, by Matthew Sharp


Trucking Co. Alleges Evidence Tampering in Deadly Amtrak Crash

In a lawsuit against two railroad companies, lawyers for a trucking company are claiming that evidence was tampered with regarding a collision that killed six people in northern Nevada.

KOLO 8 News Now reports that attorneys for the John Davis Trucking Co. claim to have evidence that Amtrak and Union Pacific are either hiding or have destroyed the crossing gate arm involved in the crash, and that video footage of the crash has been tampered with.

The collision occurred in June 2011, when a John Davis-owned Peterbilt tractor-trailer, driven by Lawrence Valli, collided with Amtrak’s California Zephyr at a railroad crossing on U.S. The impact of the 150-foot-long truck sent a fireball into the train’s rail cars. Valli was killed, along with five people on board the train — four passengers and the conductor. Fifteen others were injured in the accident.

According to reports, a National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the crash found that Valli was an “inattentive” driver and blamed the accident on “delayed braking” and the trucking company’s failure to maintain the brakes on the truck. Additionally, the possibility that the crossing guard gate or warning lights had malfunctioned was ruled out.

However, John Davis Trucking Co. believes that the railroad companies have falsified, hid or destroyed evidence that would have allowed the possibility of equipment malfunction. Attorneys for the company allege video from the train’s onboard camera has been altered, making it appear as though the crossing gate was working and that the gate arm itself has vanished. In addition, they allege there was no data contained in the data collector next to the rail crossing, reports the Gazette-Journal.

Competing lawsuits have been filed regarding this incident — one by John Davis, blaming Amtrak and Union-Pacific, and the other by the railroad companies blaming the trucking company