Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board launched a go-team to investigate a rear end collision between two BNSF Railway freight trains near Red Oak, Iowa. Mike Flanigon is the investigator-in-charge and the on-scene team members were Tim DePaepe, Mike Hiller, Steve Jenner, Ted Turpin, Lorenda Ward and Dave Watson.
The accident resulted in the deaths of two crew members and caused $8 million in damage.
The event recorder data storage devices and forward facing video camera on the leading locomotive were damaged in the collision and subsequent fire. They were shipped to NTSB's lab in Washington, DC. The video was too badly damaged to allow data retrieval, but the event recorder memory module was successfully downloaded. Crew cell phone records have been subpoenaed and will be reviewed.
Parties to this investigation are the Federal Railroad Administration, the BNSF railroad, Electro Motive Diesel, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the United Transportation Union.
The on-scene phase of the investigation lasted five days. The investigation is ongoing.