On August 26, 2022, a grand jury in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama, indicted James Elder, former Alabama Export Railroad Engineer, for manslaughter. The indictment alleges that Elder's negligent actions while operating a locomotive caused the death of a railway worker. In November 2020 crash, Elder was operating a locomotive that crashed into an active railway maintenance crew, resulting in the death of one worker and serious injury to another. At the time of the collision, Elder was allegedly operating the locomotive at unsafe track speeds while using a cell phone.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Prichard Police Department and the Mobile County District Attorney's Office, with substantial assistance from the Federal Railroad Administration.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.