Train Collides with Garbage Truck in Southern Illinois — Missouri Traffic Accident Law Firm

By January 28, 2009Trucking Accidents

For the second time in just over a month, a passenger train has hit a vehicle across the tracks in Macoupin County, Ill. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Chicago-bound train hit a garbage truck that was on the tracks just north of Carlinville, in southern Illinois, early on Jan. 15. Nobody on the train was seriously hurt, according to the paper, and the garbage truck’s driver did not appear to have life-threatening injuries. However, the truck was destroyed, with the frame carried three-quarters of a mile down the tracks from the cab and driver. The accident came just over a month after a Dec. 8 trucking accident between a semi and an Amtrak passenger train near Brighton, Ill. No one was seriously hurt in that accident, but the train derailed and nine people were treated at local hospitals.
According to federal railway statistics, cars and trucks parked on the tracks are one of the most common causes of train accidents. Authorities ultimately attribute most of them to bad decisions by the vehicle’s driver — often a dangerous attempt to beat the train and avoid waiting for it to pass. Two accidents in the same area within such a short period of time might be an unpleasant coincidence, but they might also be a sign that there’s something wrong with railroad crossing signals in southern Illinois, or of safety problems with the trains themselves.
These are important considerations, because passenger cars have very little chance in a serious Missouri car wreck with a train. Trains regularly operate at speeds of 70 mph, as the article notes this one did, and have a hard time stopping. They are also very heavy — even heavier than semi trucks — and in a collision, all of that weight becomes force that’s brought to bear on the car. The resulting crash is likely to destroy the vehicle, just like this crash did to the garbage truck, and cause wrongful deaths or very serious brain trauma, spinal damage or other permanent disabilities for the people inside.
Those injuries are always a tragedy. But if it turns out that the train company or local transit authorities could have prevented them by taking a little more care, those organizations may also be legally liable in a southern Illinois car wreck lawsuit. In a lawsuit, victims and their families can win the money they need to pay steep medical bills caused by the accident; make ends meet while victims are out of work; and compensate them pain, suffering, disability or the loss of a loved one. Carey, Danis & Lowe represents people who were seriously injured in auto accidents throughout southern Illinois and Missouri. If you believe you have a case and you’d like to know more, you can contact our firm for a free consultation.