NTSB determines cause of 2018 railroad fatality
Human error caused a railroad conductor’s death during a 2018 incident in Dallas Texas, according to an accident brief released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The victim, 33-year-old Julio Ariguznaga, was found pinned under a rail car's wheel by a co-worker, who reportedly went looking for him after he stopped responding to radio communications.
The incident that occurred early in the morning of August 13 involved Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad, Inc. (DGNO) a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), a holding company that owns short line railroads throughout the United States. DGNO has a joint use agreement with Union Pacific Railroad (UP). The agreement allows the DGNO the use of UP’s Cadiz Yard, which consists of three yard tracks that are located in the downtown area of Dallas, Texas.
In its investigation, the NTSB determined that the probable cause was the conductor improperly lining a switch for movement onto a track that he was occupying. Contributing to the accident was the conductor’s inattention to the train’s movement.
Work-related fatigue was not a factor; the agency noted that both the conductor and engineer on the yard crew had each received more than the statutory off‐duty period prior to reporting for duty. Both the engineer and the conductor were off duty for 60 hours.