John Davis Trucking is dismayed by many of the NTSB’s findings and conclusions, and by its probable cause determination regarding the unfortunate accident on June 24, 2011.  The NTSB appears to have ignored or otherwise disregarded significant evidence brought to its attention contradicting several of the agency’s key findings. 

        The NTSB significantly overlooked the fact that the crossing gate arm which, if lowered, would have been facing the truck driver showed no sign of having been struck by a 25 ton rig measuring 105 feet in length.  The only damage on the gate arm seen in photos taken shortly after the accident was pre-existing damage inflicted many months earlier, thereby giving the railroads ample motive to get rid of it with haste. The evidence suggests that the gate arm has been destroyed. As soon as June 27, 2011, Union Pacific removed over half the gate arm from the crossing.  Two days later, after the gate arm had been altered and now believed to be destroyed, Amtrak, which indemnifies Union Pacific, and is represented by the same firm of attorneys, filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against John Davis Trucking. 

       John Davis Trucking is equally troubled that the NTSB has turned a blind eye to serious and as yet unresolved questions regarding the reliability of the video on which the NTSB relies but which it did not receive from Amtrak until four days after the accident.  Despite the enormity of the explosive, fiery collision, and the disintegration of the tractor/truck and destruction of two rail cars, neither the video from the leading locomotive nor the video from the trailing locomotive, which was only the length of the baggage car from the point of impact, show any visual or audible evidence of the horrific collision.  The video Amtrak represents as from the accident does not confirm the accident times the NTSB has reported.  On the contrary, the time stamps contained in the videos are five hours earlier than the time of the accident.  Although John Davis Trucking notified the NTSB of this huge time discrepancy, the agency has yet to acknowledge its existence or attempt to explain it. The NTSB’s apparent lack of concern raises questions for John Davis Trucking about the scope and agenda of the NTSB’s investigation. Nevertheless, John Davis Trucking is committed to getting to the bottom of these issues with its ongoing investigation and discovery as part of the litigation pending in multiple courts. 
        John Davis Trucking is continuing to conduct a thorough investigation of the cause of the June 24, 2011 accident. In accordance with a federal court’s orders, John Davis Trucking has already conducted a number of depositions relating to Union Pacific’s apparent destruction of evidence and has repeatedly informed the NTSB of its investigations.  John Davis Trucking invites the public and the media to review its October 22, 2012 submission to the NTSB and corresponding exhibits A-F.[1]  A number of additional depositions on this subject have been sanctioned by the federal court in Reno[2], and the court has re-opened written discovery to permit further exploration regarding apparent destruction of evidence and issues relating to the reliability of the locomotive video which underpins key NTSB findings and its probable cause determination.
       Regardless, John Davis Trucking has already uncovered significant evidence contradicting the most serious allegations in the NTSB’s report. All of the developments will come to light with further developments in the ongoing litigation, including but not limited to the aforementioned issues pertaining to the destruction of evidence and unreliable locomotive video, as well as the NTSB’s flawed braking analysis.

       John Davis Trucking remains committed to the safety of its employees and general public as well as its commitment to the ongoing investigation irrespective of the NTSB’s flawed report.