Real explanation needed for Amtrak accident

In the aftermath of the dramatic Amtrak accident in DuPont, Wash., we are witnessing what we often do after such incidents – more questions than answers, conjecture and frustration with the pace of the investigation into what exactly happened Monday morning.

Hopefully, what we won’t see is what we also often do – the blame game. For legal, PR and other reasons, parties will obviously be reticent to be associated with the cause of the accident. While the legitimate investigation into the cause is underway, speculation will run wild, if the incident is true to form.

Federal authorities are very good at determining the cause of accidents, but it is time consuming to do it properly, and by the time real, hard information comes out, often a narrative has already been adopted by the public.

A real explanation for the source of the accident is needed. The public certainly deserves that.

On the other hand, the public should also be responsible enough to wait until all facts are out and an official cause determined.

All parties involved should respectfully hold back on the finger pointing.

Clearly there will be a lesson to be learned here, whether it is technological or procedural. This is the most important aspect of the investigation – to determine what went wrong and find a way to help make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again, in so far as that is within our control.

Wild theories and the blame game won’t get us any closer to that.