California Train Hits Truck, Passenger Train Accident Injures 28 Passengers
After a passenger train accident on Tuesday morning, involving a produce truck that became stuck in the tracks and a passenger train, 28 people have been injured, 4 of which are in critical condition.
Authorities said that many of the train accident victims were being treated for serious injuries like head trauma and injuries to the extremities.
“The conductor noticed the car early and established emergency protocol. He anticipated the crash from a far distance,” Oxnard Fire Battalion Chief Sergio Martinez said. Although the train was originally traveling at 79 miles per hour, it had slowed considerably after seeing the truck stuck in the tracks ahead.
The truck’s driver is cooperating with police, and has not been arrested on any criminal charges at this time. He said that he accidentally turned onto the railroad tracks instead of the highway and his vehicle became stuck. When he noticed the train coming, he exited the vehicle and called 911.
When the train hit the truck, the truck burst into flames. Five train cars derailed.
Police are investigating what caused the truck driver to turn onto the tracks. The site of this accident was also the site of a previous train accident in 2008, in which 135 passengers were injured and 25 were killed. After the devastating train crash, Metrolink invested in technology to prevent train cars from crumpling after an accident. Some safety experts believe that this technology saved this most recent passenger train accident from being much worse.
“Safety must be every railroad’s absolute top priority,” the Federal Railroad Administration said in a statement. “We will establish what lapses, if any, occurred and order any necessary corrective actions.”
Train Accidents Can Lead to Severe Personal Injury or Death
When a train weighing several tons collides with a car weighing a mere 3,000 pounds, the result is usually deadly. According to the US Department of Transportation, there are about 5,800 vehicle train accidents each year in the United States – usually at railroad crossings. Each year, train accidents kill 600 people and injure about 2,300. In South Carolina, train accidents are a common tragedy.
Many drivers make the mistake of believing their car can “beat” the train, a race that the car usually loses. Drivers think that large objects such as trains are moving slower than they actually are and often misjudge how close a train really is. This bad judgment often results in a train accident that causes serious injury or even death to drivers and passengers.
However, it is not just poor driver judgment that leads to train accidents. Other reasons for train accidents could be:
- Crossings that are obstructed by vegetation or other objects
- Limited visibility on the part of drivers or train operators
- The negligent actions of train operators, such as approaching crossings without their lights on and horn sounding
- Unsafe train conditions, including machinery or train parts sticking out, over-sized loads, and crossings that rely only on signs or lights and do not have working safety arms
The Strom Law Firm Helps Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Victims of Train Crashes
If you or a loved one have suffered serious personal injury, or a loved one has died, because a train accident was caused by another’s negligence or malice, you may have a case. Contact the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case and how we can help. 803.252.4800