Near the end of April there were 3 train accidents in a 24 hour span in Louisiana. Such an abundance, in such a short amount of time truly astonishes the Charleston railroad accident attorneys, as well the residents of the state, especially considering the accidents left two people dead.
In one of the accidents a 41-year-old female driver tried to go around the railroad crossing arm in her Toyota Camry and was struck by an Amtrak passenger train. Needless and unfortunate to stay the impact from the locomotive killed the woman, she was pronounced dead at the scene of the Jefferson Parish railroad crossing.
One of the other incidents also involved an Amtrak train, but this one collided with an 18-wheeler in Slidell, Louisiana. In this case, no serious injuries were reported, which is a miracle when one thinks of the kind of collision created by two large vehicles.
The second fatality occurred when a woman was hit and killed by a train as she walked along a set of tracks in Calcasieu Parish. This type of fatal pedestrian accident begs the question of, “what was the state of mind of this woman when this happened?” But, without any mention in the article of the woman’s reason for being on the tracks late at night, it would be unfair to make any presumptions as to her condition at the time.
Railroad safety advocates say it is not uncommon for people to underestimate the serious threat of oncoming trains, hence why some try to “beat” trains by going around railroad crossing arms. Due to the size of trains it is difficult to gain an accurate perception of how fast trains are coming, and that is often the underestimation, which leads to serious injuries and deaths.
Apart from being outrageously dangerous, it is illegal to go around the railroad crossing arms when they’re down. Even if a train were able to see a car crossing the tracks, locomotives are extremely heavy and their stopping distance is very long, so they wouldn’t be able to stop in time to prevent an accident from occurring. Troopers from the Louisiana State Police say that a train can drag an automobile at least a mile down the track, and keeping in mind the weight of a train, it is highly unlikely for an individual to survive a crash.
Considering all of this, the on the job injury lawyers at Howell Law want to urge any and all South Carolinians to take supreme caution when approaching railroad tracks. And never, never think you can beat a train by circumventing the crossing arms, under no circumstances is it a risk worth taking.