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Spouse of deceased victim says railroad accidents still a risk


In 2015, there was a tragedy in a state neighboring Connecticut that resulted in six fatalities. Since then, the spouse of one of the victims (a woman whose car had gotten stuck on the tracks and was hit by a fast-moving train) has been lobbying with several government officials, seeking safety upgrades that he says may have saved his wife’s life had they been implemented at the time of the crash. When railroad accidents like this one occur, the National Transportation Safety Board investigates. State statutes also provide for a safety study, which at this point is five months overdue.

That time has come and gone in this instance, and no report has been filed. The husband of one of the victims says that is unacceptable and until something is done, lives remain at risk. There are at least 5,000 grade crossings similar to the one where the accident occurred in that particular state, and upgrades have not been made on most of them in the past half to full century.

Those advocating change say at-grade crossings should be completely eliminated because they are so dangerous. The accident victim’s husband said that where his wife’s trapped vehicle was hit by a train, the design, signals and signs were substandard and likely played a part in causing her death. Federal investigators, however, say the woman is the one who caused the horrific accident, which is on record as the worst railroad collision in New York’s history.

In Connecticut and elsewhere, railroad accidents often result in fatalities or catastrophic injuries. Issues surrounding causal factors, who’s liable and other extenuating matters can be very complicated and challenging to navigate. An attorney experienced in railroad litigation can be a great asset to have on hand when addressing such matters in court.

Source: CBS New York, “N.Y. Railroad Crossings Report 5 Months Late“, July 31, 2017

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