Sumwalt was coming back from another Amtrak accident caused by sleep apnea
The timing of the hearing could not have been better for the cause of sleep apnea screenings, as Mr. Sumwalt returned from the site of the February Amtrak accident, and was walking the three-member board in Washington through the details. The crash happened in South Carolina and killed an engineer and a conductor.
It was caused when the train went onto a side track known as “siding”, where it crashed into a parked freight train. This accident was caused by operator fatigue due to sleep apnea and is just one more example of events that could have been prevented by proper screening. Dr. Nicholas Webster, the board’s medical officer agreed with the chairman, as he said that screening for sleep apnea is both quick and inexpensive.
Photo source: New York Post