- Train traffic in Indiana has increased by nearly 50 percent since 2015 and semi-traffic continues to build up across many counties.
- A semi-truck trailer was recently hit by a train in Elkhart County after his rig was stalled on a snowbank.
- New Paris police officials reported that the area was closed for hours after the crash.
- No one was hurt and damage to the truck was minor, but the crossing was closed for several hours.
- Train traffic remains to be a hot button issue for the state as accident reports involving train or train system are happening more frequently.
Semi-Truck Crashed by Train in Elkhart County
A rail train crossing in New Paris in Elkhart County was recently closed for hours after a train clipped the back of the trailer. This type of accident isn’t common for Indiana but does highlight the growing concern for railroad crossing and its increase in traffic-related fatalities across the state.
Accident reports say the crash happened in New Paris at C.R. 46 and S.R. 15
A semi-driver was moving his load across a railroad crossing in New Paris. His rig made it most of the way through, but the trailer got caught up in a snow bank. His load became stuck, causing an approaching freight train to clip the back of his trailer. Damage to the truck was minor, but the crossing was closed for several hours.
Luckily, no one, including the driver were hurt at all. If the snow bank was located in another area, this story could have easily turned tragic.
How to Avoid a Railroad Crash?
Indiana law says all motorists are supposed to stop between 15 and 50 feet from the nearest railroad tracks before proceeding. But even with laws in place to reduce train vs. car crashes, there may be a case for wrongful death such as:
- Even if a stop sign is in place, it may not be visible. In fact, the tracks, or an approaching train, itself may not be visible in the dark.
- There might not be any 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 some accidents, victims have alleged that the train was above the permissible speed limits. This can be difficult to prove and a time when an experienced attorney can help.
We will continue to follow these types of stories and routinely review and share factors related to the growing train traffic concerns in Indiana. In the meantime, don’t forget to abide by traffic laws and operate your motor vehicle (no matter how large) correctly to prevent a tragic accident with a train.
Train Accident Lawyers Who Can Help
Train companies have powerful insurance companies, so if you or a loved one are injured in a collision with a train, it is critical to employ an experienced attorney. This is one scenario in which you do not want to find yourself alone, especially if you are healing or grieving.
The auto accident attorneys at Wagner Reese have spent decades working on cases like these for vulnerable clients and their families. Give us a call today at 888-710-9377 to schedule a free consultation or speak with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information.