Woman Killed at Railroad Crossing at Gerber Road
A woman died after being struck by a train in the Florin area of Sacramento on November 29. According to a representative of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, the fatal collision occurred along Gerber Road near French Road. There is a wishbone crossing gate to warn motorists and others when a train is approaching. No information has yet been released about the pedestrian who died at the crossing. The accident will be investigated to determine how it occurred.
Problems With Defective Crossing Gates
Defective railroad crossing gates may lull a pedestrian or motorist into thinking they are safe. There are still many wishbone crossing gates in service around the country, although some are being replaced by newer models that are equipped with gate arms with bars and made of metal instead of wood. A variety of causes may be involved, such as rust, cuts, moisture penetration and high temperatures. A major problem with the safety of railroad crossings is thieves who slice into the cables to remove the copper wiring.
Problems at the crossing can cause the arm to malfunction and not lower or even come down when no train is coming, leading to the injury of a pedestrian or driver of a motor vehicle. The lights and alarms can also be affected and malfunction. Railways are responsible for maintaining crossings in good working condition by regularly inspecting and repairing them. High winds, a vehicle crashing into the gate or other problems such as age can also make the older style crossing gates ineffective or cause malfunctions.
Proving Negligence in a Train Accident Fatality Case
There are many variables involved in a train track crossing collision. Identifying the cause of railroad crossing accidents, as well as the parties’ responsibility, requires investigation. At the beginning of an investigation, it is often necessary to consult an expert. In some cases, more than one party is responsible such as the train engineer, the manufacturer of the warning gate, the company that tests the equipment or the railroad due to lack of maintenance. Some accidents involving trains can occur for the following reasons:
- Excessive speeding of the train
- Railway crossings and tracks are not maintained
- A crossing gate arm, light, or bell that is insufficient or defective, doesn’t work correctly or is broken
- Plant growth obstructing views
- Unmarked or unprotected railroad crossings
- Flawed/unsafe design of the railroad tracks or trains
- Train operators who fail to signal with horns, whistles, headlights or additional devices to warn of their approach
Investigating a Train Collision Resulting in a Fatality
The train conductor, company or other entities must be found to have been negligent for compensation to be awarded in a wrongful death case involving a pedestrian. During our investigation, we travel to the train accident scene to collect evidence that supports the family’s wrongful death claim. A review of company records is needed, as is an investigation into negligence and a determination of whether the crossing, tracks and other areas have been adequately maintained. The evidence we collect will be used by our lawyers to create a claim for wrongful death, which they will negotiate on behalf of the client with the insurance company or present in court.
Sacramento Train Accident Lawyer
I am Ed Smith, and I’m a Sacramento train accident lawyer. Multiple entities can be responsible for train and railroad accidents, including the railway company, the tracks owner and the manufacturer. To get free and friendly legal advice, call (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our online contact form is also available.
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