Brynn Grimley (253) 983-7761 • Fax (253) 589-3774 • bgrimley@cityoflakewood.us
Communications Manager

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Dec. 21, 2017

In light of Monday’s tragedy, it is hard to find the right words to explain everything our community experienced.

First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and colleagues of the three men who lost their lives and those who were injured in Monday’s train derailment. We also offer our support to our neighbors in DuPont and our residents who are still trying to process what happened.

The South Sound community should be proud of how everyone came together to respond to this unspeakable tragedy. That includes the people who stopped their cars on Interstate 5 and ran to help train passengers out of the wreckage, to the first responders and law enforcement that raced to the scene and stayed to help reunite families and set up traffic detours, and to our medical professionals that were ready and waiting to treat patients at the trauma centers as they came in.

Thanks go to the crews that worked around the clock to remove the train cars and inspect the roadway to reopen I-5 and get traffic moving again through the region. Thanks also go to everyone impacted by the closure that were patient and adjusted their commutes and schedules to reduce the number of cars on the road.

The city was told Thursday (Dec. 21, 2017) by the Governor's Office that Amtrak trains will not return to the Point Defiance Bypass route until positive train control is installed. This advanced system is designed to automatically stop a train before certain accidents occur, including train-to-train collisions, derailments caused by excessive train speed and train movements through misaligned track switches. 

We will continue to follow the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation closely and share any pertinent information on the city’s website  as it becomes available.