Trucking Company Faces Lawsuit from Amtrak and Railroad Company Regarding Serious Train Accident
Amtrak and CSX filed a lawsuit against trucking company Guy M. Turner, Inc, of Raleigh, for causing a serious train accident in March this year that injured 55 people on an Amtrak passenger train.
The lawsuit was filed in Halifax, NC on Friday, May 1st, and alleges that the trucking company caused the train accident by failing to warn either CSX, the company in charge of that stretch of railroad, or Amtrak, who operated the train, that the railroad crossing was blocked by a tractor trailer.
Reportedly, the tractor trailer driver blocked the crossing “in disregard of safety signs” and failed to notify CSX that the truck was unable to move. The lawsuit adds that Turner Transfer, who operated the truck as part of Guy M. Turner, Inc, knew about the stalled tractor trailer and also failed to notify Amtrak and CSX. In addition, the complaint says that the driver had a history of safety violations, and Turner Transfer was negligent in continuing to employ that driver.
“Turner Transfer knew or should have known that its activities were inherently dangerous, but nevertheless failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid injury or ensure that such precautions were taken,” the complaint states.
The oversized tractor trailer failed to take reasonable safety precautions while crossing the railroad tracks and attempting to make a left turn, and so became stuck on the tracks. In this instance, the driver must notify the trucking company, who must then notify the track owners that there is a problem on the tracks, regardless of whether or not a train is coming.
Rather than getting out and notifying Turner Transfer, the tractor trailer driver, according to witnesses, spent 15 to 20 minutes going back and forth trying to dislodge the truck from the tracks. When the driver heard the Amtrak passenger train approaching, he reportedly jumped out of the vehicle and was unharmed. However, 55 passengers on the Amtrak train were injured in the serious train accident, which Amtrak believes could have been prevented.
“That dispatcher would have immediately put up a red signal for Amtrak and radioed Amtrak to stop,” said Steve Ditmeyer, a former Federal Railroad Administration official who teaches railway management at Michigan State University. In the event that a tractor trailer gets stuck on train tracks, Ditmeyer said, the truck driver and any civilian or police escorts are required to “clear their routes and inform the railroad dispatchers what they’re doing.”
The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured in Train Accidents
If you or a loved one have suffered serious personal injury, or a loved one died, because of a serious train accident, you do not have to suffer in silence. Third party negligence can often cause serious train accidents – whether that party is responsible for ensuring proper safety signals at the crossing, or if the third party is an individual driver committing a DUI, or even if that third party is the train conductor, you have a right to financial stability while you recover from your injuries. The South Carolina train accident personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer a free case evaluation to discuss your physical and emotional injuries, and see how we can help you, so contact us today. 803.252.4800