Articles Posted in Train collision

Did you know that almost 4,000 people died in auto accidents in Texas in 2016? And that this was a huge increase of 5 1/2 percent just over the previous year?

Car Crash Deaths

Who ever talks about Texas having such a startling number of serious injuries each year —close to 20,000 in 2016? Those people would fill up the AAC Arena in Dallas, to put that number in perspective.

Texas roads are way too dangerous. But they shouldn’t be.

I am always amazed at how easy making driving safe could be. If we could make people not drink and/or take drugs, pay attention to the road, put down their cell phones, slow down, not suddenly change lanes or tail gate, and be cautious, we would all be a lot safer.

Most “car accidents” could be avoided if drivers took this life-and-death task more seriously.

Every day there are more and more crashes reported in our local news. We take them for granted. We shouldn’t.

But take a look at these local stories in just the last few days:

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Second Lawsuit in 2012 Collision Between Freight Train and Parade Float

The trial began yesterday in the horrific crash between a freight train and a parade float carrying 26 veterans and their families to a parade in their honor. Attorneys picked the jury on Tuesday and presented opening statements on Wednesday morning at the Midland County Courthouse. The jury consists of six women and six men who will hear the facts about this devastating tragedy. 

26 plaintiffs settled an earlier lawsuit filed against Union Pacific Railroad for a confidential damages award, while 17 others opted to take their case to trial.

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Amtrak Train Could Not Stop in Time to Avoid Truck on Track North of Austin

In a horrific collision, 54-year-old Donald Patrick Turner was killed when he drove into the path of an Amtrak train. Why are deaths like these rising in Texas when they are decreasing nationally?

In this case, the fault belongs to the driver. The train collision occurred just before 1:00 p.m. on State Highway 95 and County Road 387 near Bartlett on November 25th. The train was en route from San Antonio to Chicago and had just left the Taylor station when the train hit Mr. Turner’s Chevrolet Silverado. The pickup truck burst into flames and was pushed about three-quarters of a mile down the tracks until the train came to a stop. Fortunately, none of the 239 passengers sustained injuries. The Fort Worth conductor, 58 year-old Edward Hobbs, was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

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Fort Worth residents have been expressing concern about car accidents caused by drivers who try to “beat” the Trinity Railway Express through the rail crossings. Earlier this month, a crash happened when a pickup truck attempted to cross Carson Street in front of a Trinity Express train. Fortunately the driver escaped with injuries that were not considered life threatening. However, not all drivers are so lucky. Jjust this October, two people were killed in car collisions with trains there. Although no train passengers were injured as a result, the crashes resulted in major delays.

Trinity Railway Express officials cannot account for the increase in accidents, as nothing has changed about the way they run the train service. Each of the 38 crossings along the 35 miles of track has a crossing arm that should prevent drivers from crossing. At one crossing where a driver was killed, the Trinity Railway Express has five crossing arms due to the fact that roads approach the crossing at sharp angles. An extra crossing gate had been installed prior to the accident so that drivers could see the warnings of an oncoming train from any direction.

Part of the problem may be due to driver confusion, but some can be attributed to a “Russian roulette” mentality that has drivers thinking that they can outrace a train and survive. One long-time resident notes that for years, drivers and pedestrians have sought to beat the train, frequently with tragic results. He notes that if they waited, they would find that it does not take long for the train to pass. Every time a crossing arm lowers, it is accompanied by a red light, which has the same purpose as a traffic red light, to stop oncoming traffic. Observers noted that those who went around crossing arms to beat the train would have ignored the red light.
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A fatal north Texas car crash in which a man was killed on his way to work is currently being investigated. The man was driving across railroad tracks when he was hit and killed by a train, and investigators are puzzled as to how this could have occurred. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the man’s family may be able to file a wrongful death suit.

Last Saturday, the man was driving to his workplace, which was on the other side of some railroad tracks. However, when attempting to drive over the railroad tracks, he was hit by a TRE passenger train on its way to Fort Worth. It is not stated in the report whether the man was instantly killed in the collision or if he was transported to an area hospital and later died from his injuries.

Workers at the trucking company on the other side of the railroad tracks, where the man worked as manager, state that they did not hear a warning whistle from the train. Other witnesses were not sure that the signals were working properly or if the gates got stuck on their way down. Police suspect that the man could have gotten trapped on the rails between the gates.

What a terrible story: A 37 year old woman, Amanda Moore, was pronounced dead late last night after her driver tried to beat a Trinity Railway Express last week by driving around the train’s barrier. She had been hospitalized at John Peter Smith since the horrible crash.

The other two occupants of the small sedan are still seriously injured.

The car-train wreck happened in Richland Hills at the Fort Worth border on Carson Street.

According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, eyewitnesses have said that the car’s driver was clearly trying to beat the train.

What could have been his or her big rush?
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