Accident Near Highway 65 Involving Train Collision Occurs at Uncontrolled Crossing
A train collision with a pickup southeast of Yuba City resulted in the deaths of two people on August 21. The crash occurred in a rural area of Yuba County on a private road close to Highway 65 and Dairy Road at around 1: 00 in the afternoon. The driver of the pickup in question was attempting to cross the railroad tracks in a Chevy Silverado at the time the fatal crash occurred at a crossing that was uncontrolled.
Pickup Crossing Tracks Struck by Train
The engine driver of the train said the horn sounded as a warning, but the locomotive still struck the pickup truck on its right side. The driver of the pickup and their passenger were killed in the collision. Although the County Coroner’s Office has not released the names of the deceased yet, they were described as two males, one of which was a Sacramento resident, age 39.
Unprotected Railroad Crossing Accidents
The majority of railroad crossings, over 80 percent, are not equipped with warning devices such as alarms, lights and gates. Around half of all train accidents occur at these unprotected crossings. Common reasons these accidents occur include obstructed views of an oncoming train, driver error and the engine driver failing to sound a horn upon approach.
In railroad accidents, pedestrians, drivers and others are sometimes to blame, but negligence by the railway can also result in serious injuries or fatalities. It is not uncommon for railways to blame drivers or other parties when these collisions occur, even when the company itself may be negligent. We regularly handle claims against Amtrak successfully due to our experience in handling civilian, passenger and Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA) cases. If you were injured or lost a family member in a train collision, give us a call to see if we can help you recover compensation.
Railroad Accidents Caused by Negligence
There are many ways a train collision can occur, and multiple entities may be at fault for a fatality accident or one that causes injuries. Some of the ways in which a train collision can occur are:
- Human error can lead to a collision involving a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian if they try to beat a train across the tracks.
- Unprotected crossings can lead to a train collision if grass, trees and weeds are allowed to grow and obscure the view of oncoming locomotives.
- Defective railroad tracks such as broken rails or bad welds can lead to severe accidents.
- Trains have the right of way because they cannot be stopped quickly. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, train horns must be sounded by the locomotive engineer between 15 and 20 seconds before reaching a crossing. The horns are sounded in a pattern that has been standardized as 2 long blasts, 1 short one and another long one. That pattern has to be repeated until the locomotive reaches the crossing. The horn also has to have a decibel level of 96 to 110.
- Speeding and other negligence by the locomotive engineer can be responsible for a train collision.
If an unprotected crossing is overgrown, the engineer is negligent or the tracks or train are poorly maintained, the family of someone killed may be able to place a wrongful death claim.
Sacramento Train Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento train accident lawyer. Motor vehicle collisions with trains are often fatal and leave the family deep in grief, wondering why it happened. If you lost a loved one or were injured in an accident involving a train, phone us for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. An online contact form to reach us is also available.
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