Last Saturday a train hit a truck in Watsonville at Kirby and Elkhorn road just after 1pm. The engineer did try to apply the emergency system to bring the train to a stop, but there was not enough time to do so. The train ended up hitting the truck at approximately 50 miles per hour. Both people in the pick-up died at the scene. Nobody on the train was hurt. The specific cause of the collision is still under investigation, but CHP said the driver wasn’t speeding and doesn’t believe she was under the influence.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis (FRAOSA), Highway-rail and trespassing incidents account for 95.46% of all fatalities, and highway-rail incidents represent 17.73% of all reported events. As defined by the FRAOSA, a highway-rail incident is any impact between a rail and a highway user at a crossing site, regardless of severity and includes motor vehicles and other highway/roadway/sidewalk users at both public and private crossings. In 2010, there were 1817 incidents, 245 fatalities and 751 nonfatal incidents at crossings, and 428 fatalities and 351 incidents at non-crossings.
Here at the Brod Law Firm, we are usually surprised by reports of train-crossing accidents, as it is hard to comprehend how a train could sneak up on someone. However train accidents, such as the one that happened over the weekend, and the above statistics prove that they happen more than one would think, which underlies the need for learning life-saving practices to help avoid a collision with a train. The following are a few safety tips to keep in mind the next time you approach a railroad crossing:
• Never drive around a crossing gate that is down • If you drive into the crossing and the gate behind you comes down, keep driving, even if that means you have to break the crossing gate in front of you.
• Remember that any time is train time.
• Always listen and look both ways twice at a crossing.
• It is your responsibility to avoid a train since it can not avoid you • Don’t be fooled by train distance–a train is always moving faster and is much closer than you think.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries due to a collision with train, contact our firm. We have over ten years experience helping victims of train accidents receive the compensation they deserve.