The report, which is expected in five to eight months, will come in advance of a fuller analysis that will identify causes and contributing factors, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said.
“That signals that we’re ready to move into the analysis phase,” Knudson said. “What does it mean? We can make sense of exactly what happened that (day).”
It will include the driver’s interactions with others in the three days before the June 24 crash in the Nevada desert. The truck-tractor hauling two side-dump trailers hit the 12-car train traveling from Chicago to Emeryville, Calif., killing truck driver Lawrence Valli, 43, of Winnemucca, a train crew member and four train passengers.
The board’s preliminary report said the truck-tractor hit the side of a crew car and became embedded, sparking a fire that consumed the truck and two train cars.
Knudson said the data expected in advance of the analysis will include reports on emergency crews’ response, an accident history for the stretch of highway where the crash happened and the trucking company’s handling of previous maintenance checks and safety tests.
Several lawsuits have been filed against the company that owned the truck-tractor, John Davis Trucking Co., on behalf of a Nebraska woman and her granddaughter who were among the five people killed on the train, two Amtrak attendants who were among about 20 people injured, and Amtrak itself. They claim the company was negligent by failing to properly hire and train Valli.
The company’s lawyer, Steven Jaffe, said last month that evidence will show that the company acted properly and is as eager as anyone to find out how the crash happened.