Industry associations express concern and advocate for safety after fatal crash between train and collection truck
Accident in Virginia confirmed to have resulted in death of one waste industry worker
An Amtrak training carrying U.S. Members of Congress crashed into a garbage truck on the morning of Wednesday January 31, 2018, in Virginia. One fatality of a solid waste collection worker has been confirmed.
David Biderman, Executive Director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), released the following statement concerning the accident:
"The Solid Waste Association of North America sends its deepest sympathy to the victims involved in today's tragic incident in Virginia. The investigation is ongoing as to how the crash occurred and we owe it to all involved not to assume causes. However, there are several incidents each year in which garbage trucks and trains collide, sometimes because of a malfunction, other times because of poor judgement. Too often, these incidents have tragic consequences. Because this incident involved a train carrying members of Congress, it is a national and international story. The identity of the train's passengers must not overshadow that incidents where solid waste workers are killed on the job occur far too frequently; this is the sixth occurrence in the United States in the month of January. SWANA is committed to improving the waste industry's safety record and preventing tragic incidents like today's through education, communication, and training. Nothing we do is more important."
The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) President and CEO, Darrell Smith released the following statement:
"On behalf our members, we are saddened to learn the news of a fatality as a result of this accident and extend our condolences to the family. A tragic incident like this is a reminder of the transportation dangers in the industry. NWRA is completely committed to achieving a positive and robust safety culture. With more than 100,000 collection trucks in service, we work hard to provide our members with tools and outreach efforts to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities. We look forward to a full investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board."