A Broward driver was killed yesterday when an Amtrak train crashed into her vehicle. Early reports indicate that the driver got stuck between the train gates as an Amtrak train was approaching. Witnesses allege that they saw the driver moving her car back and forth trying to see where she could go and move her vehicle through the gates. People who were walking down Sample Road were simply yelling to the driver to get out of the car. However, the driver never exited her vehicle and the train slammed into the car. Luckily, the car had no other passengers. The car burst into flames and fell in a ditch. The Miami bound train was not derailed. However, passengers reported feeling a jolt and a big thump as the train hit the car.
Florida has a total of 5,109 highway-rail crossings for vehicles and pedestrians. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, in 2009 there were 1,896 incidents at public highway-rail crossings that resulted in 247 deaths and 705 injuries.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased driver. Both Amtrak and the Department of Transportation will have questions such as: Were the railroad gates in working order? Did the driver try to beat the train and ignore the gates? Did the driver’s vehicle malfunction? Did the train operator see the vehicle with enough time to brake and avoid a collision? Were any of the passengers or employees on the train injured?It is important to remember that Railroad companies are “common carriers.” Therefore, they are held to a higher standard of care since they are transporting the public.
If you or your loved one are involved in a train accident, odds are that you will need an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney on your side. It is important that you hire an attorney as soon as possible in order to not miss any deadlines and preserve evidence that will be crucial in making your claim. Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. has successfully represented injured in individuals in the state of Florida. If you would like a free consultation regarding your case, please contact us.