A train slammed into a FedEx truck in North Salt Lake, Utah, on Tuesday. The cause of the crash is unknown for the time being, but the safety gates were up at the time, which suggests some sort of signal malfunction. The gates are programmed to move to a down position in the event of a signal failure or malfunction, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, and it is unknown why they did not in fact close. No one was seriously injured.
The smash, which sent a whole cloud of packages flying, was capture by the dash cam of a police car.
“The agency has never had an accident like this before, and UTA is investigating why and how it happened to ensure it doesn’t occur again,” the Utah Transit Authority said in a release. And while there were no severe injuries, you can bet there were some delivery delays.
In incidents such as these, a train doesn’t have the distance required to stop the majority of the time and the results are devastating. But, not all train accidents are the driver’s fault. Train engineers and the companies that employ them are capable of negligence.
There are multiple scenarios where a vehicle can stall on a rail crossing and the railroad company may still be liable by virtue of their obligation to make an attempt to avoid an accident.
Reasonable efforts must still be taken by the train’s crew to avoid the collision. If they follow normal protocol and the collisions occurs, the accident is deemed unavoidable and the railroad company is not liable. However, when the train engineer fails to follow normal protocol and there exists the possibility that the engineer’s actions were outside of the scope of reasonable or appropriate actions, then it is easy to conclude that the engineer, at a minimum, contributed to the car driver’s demise, and a lawsuit is warranted.
The second common cause of vehicles being struck on tracks, which is what seems to have happened here, is that the rail crossing is itself defective. This may happen due to damage to the railroad crossing warning system, power outages, or damage that was neglected by the train company for months. Since the rail crossing is the property of the railroad, they will of course bear significant liability for causing the accident.
If you believe that your loved one was wrongfully injured or killed in an accident involving a train, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important you have an attorney who understands your rights as the family of the deceased victim and can reach a favorable outcome to reimburse you for any losses that you may have suffered as a result of the railroad company’s negligence. Contact the Reyes Browne Reilley law firm today at 214.526.7900.