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Truck Driver Dies In Train Accident at a North Harrison Crossing

Steve Wagner

In a horrible motor vehicle accident in April, a train ran down a utility truck, killing the driver of the truck. The accident occurred off State Road 64 at Crosby Street and North Harrison High School. The truck driver did not brake at the railroad crossing and proceeded straight into the path of the speeding train. The driver died on the scene.

Accidents such as train crashes are owing to negligence on part of the part of the driver, attributable to the driver not heeding to warning signs. Indiana law is explicit on this (see the AAA website for a useful motor safety law guide by state). Motorists are supposed to stop between 15 and 50 feet from the nearest railroad tracks before proceeding. In this case, not only did the driver speed through a stop sign, the eyewitnesses to the incident heard multiple horns from the train, for a long period.

However, there may still be a case for wrongful death in some instances like this one:

  • Even if the stop sign was in place, it may not have been visible. In fact, the tracks, or an approaching train, itself may not be visible in the dark.
  • In this incident, there were no crossbars in place at the crossing. Although railroad crossings without crossbars are common in some places, it may still be reasonably argued that the absence of crossbars, combined with poor lighting, made the driver oblivious to the danger. Indiana law mandates that the Indiana department of transportation co-ordinate with the railroad and the municipality to take all possible precautions to ensure safety at crossings.
  • Indiana law requires the railroad to equip the locomotive engine with a whistle, and a bell, and the driver to sound the whistle on the engine distinctly at least four times before reaching the crossing. If this is not done properly, motorists may be unaware of the approaching train.
  • Like vehicles, trains also have speed limits. In the above incident, the train was within the speed limit, but in many previous accidents, victims have alleged that the train was above the permissible speed limits.

In such cases, the next of kin or the representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death suit against the railroad, or the Indiana Department of Transportation, as appropriate. Wagner Reese is the right choice for such cases, with our skilled and experienced Indiana wrongful death attorneys and our high record of success.

Contact us at (888) 204-8440 for a free case evaluation by our Indiana wrongful death attorneys.


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