Articles Posted in Train Accident

Our attorneys cannot stress enough that railroad tracks and train crossings are places in which we should never cease to be vigilant and safe. These are never locations where our attention can slip or where we can bend the rules. When motorists and pedestrians act negligently near railroad tracks or crossings they endanger the lives of themselves and others around them and serious accidents can occur. Trains always have the right of way at these designated crossings and cannot stop quickly, even in the case of an emergency, because they travel at high speeds. If lights are flashing and gates are down, this means a train is near and motorists should use caution.

Even through frequent safety campaigns, warning signs posted, and laws on the books, train accidents unfortunately still frequently happen when people are negligent and ignore the rules. In a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a semitrailer blocked railroad tracks and was struck by an oncoming Chicago bound Amtrak train in southwest Wilmington, located 14 miles south of the Joliet train station. As a result of the collision, 10 people were taken to area hospitals, according to Wilmington police. Due to the impact of the collision, the train’s cargo of 70,000 pounds of bacon was strewn across the ground near the tracks. The truck’s cab also separated from the trailer and ended up on the other side of the train. Twenty minutes after the accident occurred, passengers were told to leave the train and learned about the accident.
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Trucks and trains are among the largest and most powerful vehicles on the roadways. They are extremely large in height and weight and travel at high speeds. While all drivers already have a legal duty to be safe drivers, it is arguable that it is even more important for drivers of these large means of transportation to be especially safe and vigilant, for when they are negligent, extremely serious accidents often occur which result in significant personal injuries.

Even though these vehicle may be large and have the potential to be dangerous, does not mean that they have to be. When operated responsibly, these vehicles are great for business operations or for people to travel long distances. Furthermore, our state has gates and lights at railroad crossings for a reason: to signal that a train is approaching in that very instant and to not cross the track. Signs, lights, and gates are there for our protection and to give us notice. If we follow these warnings and signs and do not act in a negligent manner at crossings, there is no reason that collisions should have to occur. Many of these incidents are entirely avoidable.
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Trucks and trains are two of the largest modes sizewise of ground transportation used traveling or transporting goods for businesses. However, because these vehicles are so large in height and weight and extremely fast in speed, when they are in an accident, the crash is likely to result in serious personal injuries or fatalities. One of the worst situations though, is when trains and semi-trucks collide. Not only can their size and speed cause serious damage, but a large number of people are usually involved or affected by the accident as well.

According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a train and a semi tractor-trailer collided resulting in at least 55 people injured. A tractor-trailer got stuck on tracks while trying to make a left-hand turn, and an Amtrak train slammed into it. The state highway patrol reported that the oversized flatbed trailer was transporting a modular building wrapped in blue plastic and filled with electrical equipment. At the time of the incident, a trooper was trying to help the truck driver complete a difficult left-hand turn across the tracks and onto a two-lane highway. However, the truck, being 164 feet in length, couldn’t make the turn. This attempt lasted for about five minutes, and the trooper reported that during this time there was no indication of a train in the vicinity. Even though they were alerted by the lights and gates when the train began to approach, there was not enough time to reverse off the tracks before the train collided with the truck. In addition, it was difficult to get off the tracks because while the truck was attempting this maneuver because traffic had backed up behind it.

One witness shot a video of the accident with her cellphone. She saw the truck driver jump out of the truck as the train approached, right before the collision. State officials have said that 55 people were injured as a result of the crash, but federal authorities believe the number may be as high as 62. Those injured include the conductor of the Amtrak train. A spokesperson from the Federal Railroad Administration stated that it appeared that the locomotive and two cars derailed, out of a total of one locomotive and seven cars.
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As we have talked about in our blogs before, two of the most dangerous vehicles to be in a collision with are trucks and trains. Being vehicles that are extremely large in both height and weight, collisions with these vehicles often result in extremely serious personal injuries or deaths. That is why it is so important to talk about these types of accidents so that members of our community can be aware of the dangers and know what to look out for and how to protect themselves.

According to a recent article by My State Line, a Rockford truck driver died in a collision with a train in Winnebago County. The truck was crossing over the tracks, and the train was unable to stop. The train engineer sounded the horn, but it was too late to avoid a collision. According to the Winnebago County Police, the semi-truck traveled in the front of the train, but it is unclear why this occurred, so the accident is still under investigation. There are no gates at this particular crossing, but there are crossing lights. Investigators are researching whether there were any mechanical failures with the truck, a medical issue with the driver, or any mechanical issues with the crossing.

Pictures of the aftermath of this accident show how violent of a collision this was. The semi-truck trailer was bent and ripped open. Its cargo – corn – was spilled and strewn on the scene. The semi’s cab was demolished and lying on the other side of the tracks than the trailer. Debris was scattered everywhere.
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Illinois, and in particular the city of Chicago, is a major hub for railroads and train transportation. Every year, thousands of passenger and freight trains travel through our state. Even though passengers and members of community trust that they should be safe around the railroads, we often hear in the news about railroad accidents.

According to a report by, a farm chemical company worker died after his truck was hit by an Amtrak train. The fertilizer truck driver was reported to have died after being airlifted to the local hospital. The accident occurred in Savoy, Illinois in Champaign County. According to the local authorities, the man was driving the fertilizer truck out of a farm field, and he drove in front of the oncoming northbound train that was headed from Carbondale. Witnesses reported that the man was hauling farm equipment, and he attempted to cross an unmarked railroad crossing. Of the train’s 100 passengers, several suffered minor personal injuries in the collision.

It is unclear whether negligence on the part of the train or railroad operator played a role in the truck driver’s death but it is important to discuss the issue of an unmarked crossing. In the past, our attorneys have provided readers with information about what to do as a driver or pedestrian around train crossings. However, as you notice with this accident, this was an unmarked train crossing, so you may be wondering what to do in a situation like this where there are no clear signals, signs, or directions to follow. Even when a crossing is not marked, it is important to always look both ways. Furthermore, according to Operation Lifesaver, in order to be vigilant and best protect yourself, always expect an oncoming train. Freight trains do not follow set schedules, like commuter trains. Also, trains travel a lot more quickly than we expect, and can seem as if they suddenly appear. These trains cannot stop quickly, and a freight train that moves at 55 mph would take about a mile to stop. For that reason, even when the train engineer sees a person or vehicle crossing the tracks, they cannot stop in time.

Valentine’s Day weekend began with unfortunate news of a deadly accident between a truck and a train that resulted in one death, according to Fox2Now. The collision occurred on Route 66 in Macoupin, Illinois, when a truck attempted to cross a railroad crossing while failing to yield to the oncoming train. This resulted in the train hitting the truck on the driver’s side. The driver survived the crash with serious injuries, but a passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.

Our attorneys cannot stress the importance of exercising extreme caution when operating any type of vehicle on or near railroad tracks. Train accidents can often be prevented if drivers are alert and aware of oncoming trains and never try to cross or go around gates if a train is approaching a crossing. Remember that you can never be too safe, and that doing so can save lives. No time saved by beating a train over the tracks is ever equal to the value of a life.

There are principles to remember for railroad safety, and the Illinois State University Police urge citizens to abide by these. First, remember to yield to trains. They generally always have the right of way because they are on a fixed rail, and unlike a car, cannot switch lanes or take a different route. Because they are so large, they cannot stop quickly to avoid a collision. Often, by the time the engineer can see a person or vehicle on the tracks, the engineer does not have enough time to stop the train. Second, use caution around railroad tracks at all times. Trains often travel at all times of the day and night. Freight trains are even more unpredictable than passenger trains, because they have a sporadic schedule that is never the same. For that reason, there is no time where we should not practice safety around tracks.

As you have seen on our blogs and in the news, practicing safety around trains and train tracks is always important to protect yourself and your loves ones from suffering serious personal injuries. Railroad operators are also obligated to take safety measures to protect drivers and pedestrians who are nearby tracks safe and to ensure they remain aware of any oncoming or existing dangers. Oftentimes, this includes gates, signs, or other warnings near crossings. However, we find it noteworthy and important to consider the legal consequences of when a crossing does not consist of any such safety warnings. What if someone crossing the tracks is not put on alert?

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a delivery truck driver was killed upon colliding with a train along Illinois Route 15. The accident occurred when the truck crossed the tracks into the path of the train. The driver was thrown from the truck and died at the scene of the accident. The train engineer told the police that the truck driver did not seem to notice the oncoming train nor hear its whistle. The particular train crossing did not have a gate, sign, or lights.

In this case, it is undetermined whether there was any negligence on the case of either the railroad or the driver. It is worth considering though whether the truck driver would still be alive if there had been crossing gates or lights. On the flipside though, was this truck driver distracted or overly tired where he would not have noticed the oncoming train with or without additional warnings? Would additional barriers have prevented him from crossing, or did the railroad do all that they could in this situation to prevent injury and death?

When most people think of a train collision, they envision a train derailing or a car that is stuck on the tracks and hit by an oncoming train. However, trucks can also be involved in accidents with trains as well. When two especially large vehicles collide, this can create a serious accident, involving personal injuries of great severity, as well as heavy roadside and rail cleanup and repair.

This past week, such a collision occurred between a semi-truck and an Amtrak train on Union Pacific railroad tracks, according to Thankfully, only two passengers were injured, and their injuries were not serious. Officials have stated that the accident happened because the semi-truck got stuck in the snow and ice at the train crossing. Due to the recent heavy snow and freezing conditions in the Midwest, snow had become packed and frozen onto the tracks.

It is important that all drivers, including trains and motor vehicles, exercise caution when operating their vehicles on or around railroad tracks. According to Operation Lifesaver, an organization dedicated to rail safety, the number of railroad passengers has been on the rise and is predicted to continue to grow. For instance, freight transportation is expected to doubly by 2035, and railroads will be expected to handle an 88% increase in tonnage during the same period. Amtrak, a long distance passenger train, has now seen record levels of 31.2 million passengers for 2012, and these numbers could reach 60 million by 2050.

Our train accident attorneys often discuss the severity of train and semi truck accidents and the serious consequences that motorists may face after an accident involving either vehicle. We recently learned of a collision involving both of these massive vehicles that witnesses described as “horrific.”

On Monday afternoon, a Metra train was traveling east toward Chicago in suburban Bartlett, according to NBC Chicago. Authorities say a semi-truck driver approaching the Western Avenue crossing thought he could make it past the tracks before the train traveled by. The train suddenly struck the semi-truck, which was carrying a load of new cars, and reportedly dragged it 100 feet east on the Milwaukee District/West line.

Police rushed to the scene to see both seriously damaged vehicles. Several cars in parking lots near the crash scene were also damaged. Witnesses who saw the aftermath of the accident said they knew the “initial bang” they heard was from a train accident. Two passengers on the train suffered minor injuries and the truck driver remained uninjured. Investigators told reporters the Western Avenue crossing is not considered high risk or high volume, but because the semi-truck driver quickly navigated across the train tracks, the collision took place as a result. Inbound and outbound service was stopped in both directions throughout the day, but service was fully operational by the next morning. Charges have not yet been filed against the semi-truck driver.

Thousands of students and workers use CTA trains as their daily means of transportation; in fact, many people in the Chicago area would not even consider driving a car downtown. CTA trains are efficient, flexible, time saving and often a cost-effective alternative to driving. Even better, train travel is also one of the safest methods of transportation.

As seen throughout our accident blog, however, transportation accidents unfortunately take place every minute around the country. While careless motorists cause a significant number of these accidents, such as those who speed, drive under the influence, or drive distractedly, others types of transportation collisions are often unforeseeable and are simply unavoidable. Today an outbound CTA Blue Line train was stopped at the Harlem Station in Forest Park at 8am this morning when an out-of service train was going the opposite direction on the same track. The conductor of Blue Line “saw the moving train coming at him with no one in the front car,” according to the Forest Park Mayor. Witnesses yelled for the train to stop or slow down, but just seconds later it hit the Blue Line head-on.

Chicago Tribune reported that even though the train was traveling at a moderately slow speed, the impact knocked passengers to the ground. Witnesses said they could hear screaming from inside of the train because the passengers were in shock. Nearly 50 passengers were taken to 10 local hospitals; thankfully, a CTA spokeswoman stated that they only experienced minor injuries.

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