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Railroad accidents and dangerous crossings often intersect


Many residents in a state outside of Connecticut are concerned about the recent re-opening of a railroad crossing. Crossings are often the scenes of railroad accidents, and some seem to be more dangerous than others. At the railroad crossing in question, there was a fatal accident back in February.

The crossing was shut down after a rail worker tragically lost his life in the incident. Railroad company representatives say the railroad offered a $40,000 cash incentive to the city to permanently close the crossing. City officials, however, declined the offer. The railroad then appealed the decision to re-open the crossing with the state’s Department of Transportation.

The Georgia Department of Transportation denied the appeal, stating it was important to keep the crossing open so that a safety study could be conducted. Officials say it could take several months for a final decision to be handed down as to whether the crossing should be permanently shut down. City officials say they never expected the crossing not to re-open after the fatal accident.

Railroad crossings in Connecticut and other states are not all the same. Some are controlled with traffic lights and/or signs that regulate the flow of train and other vehicle traffic on the tracks. There are also crossings throughout the nation that are completely unmarked or regulated. When railroad accidents occur that result in injury or death to a railroad employee, litigation under the Federal Employers Liability Act often follows if employer negligence is thought to be a causal factor.

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