Earlier this summer a semi-truck driver crashed into the side of an Amtrak train outside Reno, Nevada, killing six people and injuring dozens more. Investigators on the scene said the driver tried to stop but because he was killed in the accident, the cause is still a mystery.
How Could This Happen?
At the time of the accident, reports indicate that the weather was good and visibility should not have been a problem. Guardrails came down to block the train tracks from the highway and the warning lights were flashing, as they should have been. Skid marks from the truck measure the length of a football field. Investigations into the driver indicate a history of moving violations and issues related to vehicle registrations, but nothing indicating drug or alcohol abuse. Two other trucks following him on the highway both managed to stop without incident.
National Railway Safety
In 2010, 737 people were killed as a result of accidents with trains, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis. Thousands more were injured. Despite the many advancements in train safety and addition of guardrails and flashing lights at intersections to alert drivers, accidents still happen. Some intersections of railroad and highway have little more than a stop sign and a warning that there is a railroad.
Who To Blame?
While the cause of the Nevada accident is still being investigated, these accidents do not have to happen. At least one of the people injured on that train has filed a lawsuit against the trucking company, alleging negligence on the part of the truck driver for his failure to stop in time. Even if the driver was paying attention and tried to stop in time, a faulty or poorly maintained truck may have been the reason for the crash. Truck maintenance is a priority, and keeping braking systems in working order is of obvious importance.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a train crash, either with a vehicle or another train, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact our experienced attorneys today. We offer a free consultation to hear the details of your story and help you determine your best course of action.