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Train Accident Focuses Attention On Rail Crossing Safety In Connecticut


Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 12, 2013 in Car Accidents

In late December 2012, a car carrying four passengers from Danbury was struck by a train in Redding, Connecticut, resulting in serious injuries and two fatalities. The accident demonstrates the risk of injury presented to drivers at railroad crossings, even with warning devices, which do not always protect against dangerous car accidents.

CONNECTICUT TRAIN CRASH STATISTICS

According to Operation Lifesaver Connecticut, an organization that works with the Connecticut Department of Transportation to prevent collisions between trains and cars and to prevent trespassing at railways, "scores" of collisions and trespassing incidents occur each year that result in death or serious injury. The organization reports that, from January to November 2010, there were 124 incidents involving trains in Connecticut, resulting in four fatalities and 94 non-fatal injuries.

Nationwide, Operation Lifesaver Connecticut says most train-car collisions occur with trains traveling less than 25 mph, and about 60 percent of crashes happen during the day. Further, an individual is 60 times more likely to be fatally injured in a crash with a train than in a crash with another vehicle, and about a third of all collisions happen at rail crossings with active warning devices.

Metro-North Railroad officials say that the active warning devices - including flashing lights and warning bells, but no crossing gates - were working properly at the Redding Long Ridge Road rail crossing when a train collided with a crossing car on December 30, 2012, according to the Connecticut Post.

The car was hit by the train and pushed 50 yards down the track before falling down an embankment and landing against a tree, the Connecticut Post reports. A 21-year-old passenger passed away at the scene, and two others, ages 19 and 21, received emergency medical care. The driver of the car, a 19-year-old, died in the hospital of serious injuries received in the crash.

ConnDOT plans to change the layout of an intersection near the crossing where it can be difficult for drivers to see the train track before it is too late. In addition, a spokesperson from Metro-North said it intends to shift the crossing 25 feet north of its current location, which would move it farther away from the intersection, and to install crossing gates.

Car accidents involving trains often bring tragic consequences including serious injury or death. If you or a loved one has been hurt in collision involving a train or another vehicle, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to discuss legal options that may be available to you.