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Federal officials investigate cause of deadly Amtrak crash

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Authorities find what they think is the cell phone of the truck driver involved in the crash
  • They have also obtained a short video recorded around the time of the collision
  • One passenger remains unaccounted for, Amtrak says
  • A train and tractor-trailer truck collided last week east of Reno, Nevada, killing six people

(CNN) -- Federal investigators are scheduled to meet Tuesday with representatives of the trucking company involved in last week's deadly Amtrak crash.

They hope to obtain records on the driver and to begin collecting information on the company itself, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener told reporters.

The John Davis Trucking Co. of Battle Mountain, Nevada, has fallen under some early criticism as Weener has said previously that records indicate the company had 19 previous safety violations.

The company also had a fatal single-vehicle accident in May, he said.

Calls to the John Davis Trucking Co. late Monday were not immediately returned.

Also Monday, federal officials said they have located what they believe to be the cell phone of the truck driver involved in crash, which killed him and at least five other people.

The tractor-trailer slammed into a Chicago-to-California Amtrak train at a railroad crossing east of Reno, Nevada on Friday.

The phone will be sent to Washington D.C. to determine whether it was a possible factor in the accident, Weener said.

Also being sent to Washington is a video snapshot, recorded by Amtrak, of the moments around the collision.

Authorities do not believe the accident was caused by a problem with the safety measures at the intersection where the accident occurred. It has cantilevers, lights, crossing gates, signs and crossbar markings on the pavement.

Additionally, the light that warns of an approaching train is set to flash for a period that's longer than the federal standard.

"From what we saw in the video, the signal devices were operating as they were supposed to," said Weener.

Just one passenger remains unaccounted for, Amtrak said Monday night. At least 20 people listed on the manifest had not been accounted for by authorities previously.

The 10-car train was carrying 195 passengers and 14 crew members when the accident happened, according to Amtrak.