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Truck accident death: rights arising from a train accident

Posted on Mar 25, 2010

A 56-year-old railroad maintenance worker was killed last weekend when his truck was hit by a commuter train in El Monte Saturday morning. The Union Pacific employees vehicle was parked on a Metrolink track, which runs parallel to the freight train tracks, and while officials said it is unclear why the worker was parked there, they also confirmed he did not have suicidal intentions. It is common for maintenance workers to be located at railroad track sites, said officials. Three Metrolink passengers were also treated for injuries and released.

The railroad employee, whose identity has not yet been released, likely died on impact when the commuter train hit and pushed his truck 300 yards down the track, said authorities. The track's safety signals and arms appeared to be in proper working order, but a full investigation is still under way. Investigation will be cruical in this case, because an experienced maintenance worker is not usually prone to park his truck onthe tracks, knowing that a train is advancing.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration's 2009 statistics, 210 accidents occurred on Union Pacific railroad tracks in California. These incidents not only include train accidents, but also pedestrian crossings, motor vehicle collisions or maintenance worker accidents. There were 21 fatalities in these accidents, the majority of which were the result of trespassing, the FRA's stats show. There are nearly 3,000 public crossings with gates or other types of warnings about 1,300 private crossings on Union Pacific's tracks.

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