by Dallas – Ft. Worth Car Accident Attorney, Tim O’Hare
Two people lost their lives and 11 others were sent to the hospital after a fiery crash involving a passenger train and a dump truck in Ft. Worth.
Reports indicate the westbound Trinity Railway Express (TRE) train was traveling under the speed limit, moving at about 74 mph, when it struck the dump truck, blowing out windows on the train and instantly igniting the truck on fire. According to Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the crossing arms were down when the crash occurred, indicating the driver of the truck allegedly drove around the crossing arms as the train approached.
Tragically, both the driver and passenger in the truck were killed. Dozens of train passengers were evaluated at the scene, and 11 were taken to area hospitals, two of whom were in critical condition and three others have serious but not life-threatening injuries.
According to statistics from Operation Lifesaver, in 2017, more than 2,100 train/car collisions occurred at railway crossings, resulting in 274 fatalities and more than 800 injuries. Calculations from NHTSA reveal that motorists are nearly 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than a collision involving another motor vehicle.
While train/car collisions are certainly less common than other car accidents, even a single fatality is one too many. Take some time to review these safety tips and facts from Operation Lifesaver.
- Not all trains travel at fixed times, and schedules can change. Always expect a train at each highway-rail crossing and look carefully before crossing.
- The average freight train traveling at 55 mph takes more than one mile to come to a stop. Trains simply cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision with a vehicle or pedestrian.
- Trains always have right of way over emergency vehicles, police, cars and pedestrians.
- Never race a train to a crossing. Even if you tie, you lose.
- Trains are closer and moving faster than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to pass before proceeding across the tracks.
- Never drive around lowered gates. Not only is it illegal, it’s also deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the emergency number posted on the crossing signal or notify your local law enforcement agency.
- If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get out immediately and move away from tracks, even if you do not see a train coming. Once you are safely away from the tracks, locate the emergency notification system sign and call the number provided.
- When you need to cross tracks, whether driving or walking, always cross at a designated crossing area and look both ways.
Visit Operation Lifesaver at www.oli.org for more safety tips.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a car, truck or train accident, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with an award-winning car accident Personal Injury attorney.
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