Amtrak has filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts company that owned the truck hit by the Downeaster passenger train last month in North Berwick, Maine. That truck is owned by Triumvirate Environmental Inc. of Somerville, Massachusetts.
The truck was carrying more than 50,000 pounds of trash to a local incinerator. Police are conducting an ongoing investigation into the accident.
The Amtrak driver is accusing the big rig driver of ignoring the railroad crossing controls and warnings while he was crossing the railroad tracks. Four passengers aboard the Amtrak train suffered injuries in the collision. Amtrak isn’t seeking specific damages, but they are reportedly seeking compensation for subsequent service disruption costs of $3 million. The suit was recently filed in federal court in Massachusetts.
Our Portland personal injury attorneys understand that the court filings for this case state that the crossing warnings were activated as the truck proceeded through the crossing. They also state that the truck driver “failed to heed the warnings” and drove his tractor-trailer around the lowered crossing gates and caused the accident. This case is important to bring up because accidents near railroad crossings can be oftentimes produce deadly results if the proper safety measures are not taken and if warning signals are ignored.
“Once we get it all done, we’ll release what our finding was,” says Police Chief Stephen Peasley, estimating it could be another couple of weeks.
The suit was filed on August 8th at the U. . District Court of Massachusetts by John Bonistalli, the attorney representing National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
It is estimated that a person or a vehicle is hit by a train every 115 minutes. It is also estimated that about half of these railroad accidents occur at railroad crossings when automatic warning devices, like flashing lights and gates, are present and are properly activated and working.
According to the U. . Department of Transportation, there are approximately 5,800 vehicle-train accidents each year in the United States. A majority of these accidents occur at railroad crossings. These accidents result in an average of 600 fatalities each year. These accidents also injure about 2,300 people yearly.
Common injuries of a train and car accident can include brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, concussions, other head injuries, sprains, fractures, abrasions, burn injuries and internal and various soft tissue injuries. Many of these injures can be life threatening.
Railroad accidents most oftentimes include these scenarios:
-Derailment of a train.
-Damage to property.
Accidents that involve a train can be very complex and difficult for the victims, especially when fighting for deserved compensation. That is why it is critical for you to contact an attorney immediately following a train wreck or railroad accident.
The car accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates know the rights of victims who have been injured or killed in a car-train accident in Bangor, Portland and throughout Maine. Call for a free consultation and advice at 1-800-804-2004.
Local train-crash probe ongoing, by Joey Cresta, Seacoast Online
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Summer Marks 100 Deadliest Days for Teens Car Accidents in Bangor, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, June 15, 2011