As a longtime Washingtonian, I have traveled Amtrak’s Northeast Regional train on many, many occasions. So it was horrifying to read about the accident near Philadelphia last night. The pictures were extraordinarily frightening, in part, because the café car, seats, and the train cars are so familiar. Tragedies like this often hit home with those in a community who have a shared experience, such as riding the Amtrak train.

The Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was traveling from Washington, D.C. to New York carrying 238 passengers and five crew members when it derailed about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 12th in Philadelphia. A U.S. Department of Transportation representative said, “We have confirmed an engine and all six cars derailed.”

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Of the 146 people sent to various hospitals in the area, 25 passengers were still at Temple University hospital the next morning. Eight of those passengers were in critical condition at Temple’s trauma center.

For a bit of perspective, the train was traveling along the Northeast Corridor, which is the busiest passenger rail line in the U.S. The crash took place at the site of a previous derailment, which was one of the country’s deadliest train accidents when the Congressional Limited crashed in 1943 killing 79 people.

Regardless of how often you ride a train, we can all understand that there are a lot of families waking up today in a very different world than they did yesterday. Many families will begin the grieving process and, eventually, have to begin picking up the pieces and moving forward.

Unfortunately, the Paulson & Nace family has quite a bit of experience in watching families try to move on from tragedy. Our clients come to us at some of their lowest points and at times of great pain. The Amtrak victims have a long road ahead of them.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this accident. Because at the end of the day, no matter how often you ride a train, we all have families and loved ones that we hate to see suffer.