On behalf of Strom & Associates, Ltd. posted in Mass Transit Accidents on Saturday, January 4, 2014.
The young man was wearing headphones, and he never saw the freight train approaching. The operating engineer had a front-row seat to tragedy, though, as he witnessed the train plow over the victim’s body before he had time to react. Although that accident did not happen in Illinois, safety administrators throughout our state are becoming increasingly concerned with the frequency of pedestrian accidents involving both trains and cars in the region. In fact, 2013 was a banner year for such incidents, with a large surge of crashes compared to just one year before.
In all, 85 collisions occurred at railroad and train crossings throughout the state during the first three quarters of 2013. However, collisions that did not occur at crossings saw a whopping 27 percent increase over the 2012 numbers. Most of those accidents occurred in Chicago, which is known for its freight and commuter train activity. Sadly, 36 people died from January through September of 2013 as the result of train collisions.
The train engineer involved in the aforementioned pedestrian collision is no longer operating trains. He now manages support services and operates a peer counseling program that assists crews who have been involved in similar accidents. Engineers in these cases say they are often angry and dismayed because drivers and pedestrians simply do not pay attention. In one case, the man said his train plowed through the trailer of a semi-truck rig. The driver was only spared serious injuries because the train cleaved through the trailer. That truck driver had not been paying attention to the fact that he was driving on train tracks, according to the engineer.
Both drivers and train conductors have the responsibility of avoiding public transit accidents by being cautious and observant. Victims who have been injured at train intersections with malfunctioning lights or signals, however, may be justified in seeking financial compensation from the mass transit organization responsible for maintaining those systems. The causes of a train accident or bus accident can be manifold. For that reason, victims are encouraged to seek assistance from a qualified personal injury attorney who can help them learn more about their legal and financial options.
Source: Daily Herald, “2013 sees spike in train vs. car, pedestrian collisions” Marni Pyke, Dec. 30, 2013