Many roads in California contain railroad crossings. While a lot of roads also have signs, lights and even crossing gates to warn motorists of an oncoming train and keep them off the tracks, other railroad crossings have no railroad crossing signs, gates or warning systems of any kind. At one such crossing in rural Brentwood, a train collided with a passenger car and claimed the lives of three of the vehicle’s occupants.
Around 1 p.m. on June 26, a vehicle carrying five people crossed onto a train track in a rural area of Brentwood. At the same time, an Amtrak train carrying 89 passengers and crew was approaching the crossing. The train struck the car and sent it flying some distance away where it came to rest near the tracks.
Of the five occupants of the car, three lost their lives at the scene, and two others were airlifted to a medical center for treatment of serious injuries. No one aboard the train suffered any harm. The same crossing has been the location of several train-car collisions over the years, according to the local fire marshal.
Right to compensation
Although the crossing did not have crossing gates or warning lights, the report states that there were stop signs for vehicles on the road on either side of the crossing. Ostensibly, this could mean the driver of the car disregarded the traffic signs and tried to cross the tracks with a train approaching. If the driver of the car did indeed disregard the safety of his or her passengers in crossing the train tracks, the injured parties and surviving family of the deceased victims can pursue civil claims against the driver as well as anyone else who has ownership interest in the car. If the driver was one of the deceased victims, his or her estate can be named in a civil suit. Either way, parties will want to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in California for a detailed explanation of their rights and options for obtaining compensation.