CEO Rachel Jacobs Killed In Amtrak Crash: Derailment The 30th That Tech Could’ve Prevented

Since Tuesday night’s deadly Amtrak crash, 42 people are still being treated in hospitals – 10 of them still critical. Meanwhile, the identity of some of those killed have been revealed – and they include tech CEO and mom Rachel Jacobs.

The Amtrak train was reportedly going 106 mph at the time of the crash – double the 50 mph speed limit, ABC News reported. It crashed mere minutes after leaving Philadelphia, after Rachel Jacobs sent a text to her husband letting him know she was on her way home to New York.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy. Rachel was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend,” her family told Pix 11. “She was devoted to her family, her community and the pursuit of social justice. We cannot imagine life without (Rachel). We respectfully ask for privacy so that we can begin the process of grieving.”

Six other families are beginning that process. Also killed in the Amtrak derailment were Associated Press video software architect and father Jim Gaines; Naval Academy midshipman Justin Zemser; and a Wells Fargo senior vice president, Abid Gilani, the Detroit News reported.

Rachel Jacobs

Rachel Jacobs, 39, was a native of Detroit and the CEO of ApprenNet, which “provides tools for instructors to create video-based learning exercises,” USA Today reported. Jacobs was also dedicated to revitalizing her home city of Detroit and lauded by friends and colleagues as selfless and kind.

“(Jacobs) was an incredibly heartfelt, sincere person,” said Detroit Freelancer Karen Dybis. “It was never a selfish motivation in her desire … She was soft spoken and kind, but she carried a lot of weight.”

She leaves behind a husband and two-year-old son.

Like most deadly crashes in recent years, Tuesday’s Amtrak crash could’ve been prevented by a technology called positive train control, the Associated Press reported. Amtrak has actually been more aggressive than other companies in installing the system on their tracks; it’s in place throughout Amtrak’s Northeast lines, but not on its tracks near Philadelphia. Amtrak won’t disclose why.

Positive train control monitors a train’s location with GPS, radio and computers, and can brake automatically to prevent derailments if it’s going too fast, among other human errors. Speed has been blamed for the Amtrak crash.

The National Traffic Safety Board has investigated 29 derailments – not including Tuesday’s Amtrak crash that killed Rachel Jacobs, six others, and injured hundreds – and all of them could’ve been prevented by this technology. Not including this latest incident, 68 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured.

NTSB has urged the installation of this tech for 45 years. Railways haven’t complied because of financial concerns and disagreements over which systems to install.

[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab, Win McNamee/Getty Images]

Comments