A recent accident involving a big rig and an Amtrak passenger train in the Central Valley left several passengers injured. The passenger train was partially derailed after a semi truck barreled through a railroad crossing in rural Kings County. The truck allegedly went through the intersection while the warning lights were flashing and the bells were ringing. A spokeswoman for Amtrak reported the train was hit between the locomotive and the last passenger car.
At least 20 of the 169 passengers were injured in the truck accident. Fortunately, no deaths were reported. The passengers' injuries ranged from bruises and scrapes to possible broken bones. There has not yet been a determination by investigators as to why the truck driver ran through the crossing, and whether negligence may have played a part in the events leading up to the accident.
The accident disrupted service on several of the trains that run on a single track through the area on a daily basis. Buses were brought in to transport the passengers, along with emergency personnel to treat the injured. Major delays in service were reported.
In an unlikely coincidence, a second accident involving a semi-truck and a train occurred in the same area later that day. No serious injuries were reported in that collision. There has also not been a determination as to the cause of the second crash.
These accidents highlight the dangers of sharing the road with semi-trucks. The large size and weight of these trucks result in accidents with a higher rate of serious injury and death. Victims of these types of accidents should know they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries from the parties at fault.
Source: sfgate.com, "Big rig slams into Amtrak train in Central Valley," Peter Fimrite & Will Kane, Oct. 2, 2012