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Rick Shapiro
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Private Railroad Crossing Draws Concern Following Fatal Suffolk, VA Train Crash

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For a week after a CSX train collided with a tractor-trailer at a railroad crossing in Suffolk, Virginia (VA), and killed the truck driver, details about where and how the deadly crash occurred were hard to find. Finally, on Oct. 10, 2012, local television station WAVY-TV 10 sent a reporter to the scene of the accident on Portsmouth Boulevard. What she learned is described in this news video:

RR crossing concern after driver killed

In sum, the privately owned crossing that intersects with the driveway for truck delivery and pickup lot of an auto parts supplier lacks basic safety devices like gates and warning lights, is overgrown with trees and bushes that make approaching trains impossible to see, and has been the site of other crashes that left truck drivers injured and dead.

The Virginia Train Crash Lawyer's Perspective

Something must be done. My Virginia personal injury and wrongful death attorney colleagues specialize in railroad accidents, and we have written often about the responsibilities rail corporations and owners of private railroad crossing have to alert drivers of oncoming trains and to restrict access to tracks when crossing is unsafe. We recognize that installing and maintaining automatically lowering gates, upgrading signs ranging from crossbucks to stop signs, and clearing sightlines along railroad tracks can be expensive. We also know that investing in basic safety measures costs far less than the value of a train crash victim's health and life.

Suffolk already sees heavy daily traffic from CSX and Norfolk Southern trains. Rail usage in the city will soon increase when Amtrak begins running two passenger trains each day from Norfolk to Richmond. Unless every crossing along the route get the safety upgrades and maintenance they require, it seems likely that we will be hearing about additional injuries and deaths from collisions between cars, trucks and trains.

Potentially Helpful Info

If a family member lost his or her life in a train accident or any other kind of crash caused by another person's or company's disregard of safety, you can download this free report to begin learning about holding the responsible party accountable for their negligence.

Have Questions? Check Out Our Firm's FAQs.

You can learn more by reading through our online library of lawyers' answers to frequently asked questions about wrongful death lawsuits.

EJL

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.