The accident occurred just after 8 a.m. this morning in northern Indiana when a Chicago-bound Amtrak train slammed into a tractor-trailer as it crossed the tracks, the Associated Press reported.
Fourteen of the 56 passengers on the train were injured but their injuries were not serious. Eight people had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment, but other than that the injuries were minor.
There was, however, significant damage done to both the train and the tractor-trailer.
The train was stuck in the middle of the trailer, which was carrying powdered cement. The trailer was ripped in half and the powder blanketed the scene.
Chief Deputy A.J. Alletto of the White County Sheriff’s Department told the AP, that the truck’s driver miscalculated the distance of the train before he began to drive over the tracks. The driver told authorities he looked both ways and saw the train but thought he had plenty of time to cross safely. He was wrong.
Some passengers were taken to Chicago via a bus, while some passengers continued on the train once the power car was replaced.
Tractor-trailers are big, but they are no match for a train. Truck drivers must take extreme caution when they cross railroad trucks. Too often truck drivers are so familiar with a crossing that they take unnecessary risks and put their and others’ lives in danger. Not yielding to train can cause serious property damage, but, even worse, this carelessness can cause another person’s death.
All drivers, whether they are in a large commercial truck or a passenger vehicle, must stop for railroads crossings. Trains have the right of way because they are on a fixed rail and are unable to take a different route. They are all fast-traveling and heavy and quite often carry hazardous materials. Typically, by the time a train conductor sees and car or truck crossing the tracks, it’s too late for them to stop.
Collisions between trains and tractor-trailers often result in serious injuries, and sometimes death. While there are occasions when a train accident is the fault of the conductor, the majority of these incidents are caused by negligent drivers. In the case of this accident, the truck driver will most likely be ruled at fault, since he failed to yield to the train and crossed the tracks even though he could see he oncoming train. When negligence leads to a damaging or injurious truck accident, the victims can hire an Illinois truck accident attorney to discuss whether they are eligible for compensation.
Train or truck accident victims can seek compensation for their injuries, lost wages, property damage and their emotional distress. To assure you are treated fairly, contact an Illinois truck accident attorney working on your case and building a strong injury claim. Your attorney won’t let you fall prey to tactics that will deprive you of the settlement you deserve.