California has statutes in place to protect the public. Whenever a company, land owner or driver fails to adhere to these laws, there is a potential for disaster. Unfortunately, disaster can sometimes come in the form of wrongful death.
Many would agree that 18 years old is too young to lose one's life. However, that is what happened to one young man almost one year ago. Now, his family is suing Amtrak and Union Pacific as well as several others for wrongful death.
According to investigative records, the truck being driven by the victim rolled onto the railroad tracks as an Amtrak passenger train was approaching. Railroad personnel claim that horns and whistles were blown. However, the family's suit claims that the train's engineers failed to provide a warning loud enough to be heard.
The family's suit also alleges that visibility at the crossing site was obstructed due to overgrown shrubs, trees and other vegetation. Additionally, the railroad tracks were elevated thus obstructing the view even more. Since there was not a stop or yield sign or lights and a crossing gate, it is claimed that the truck did not stop in time.
As the truck rolled onto the tracks, the train struck it. In their lawsuit filed in a California Superior Court, the family claims that the train was traveling at an excessive speed for the area. Additionally, they assert that the defendants were not honest in their statements during the investigation. Anytime one believes that his or her loved one's death is the result of wrongful death, he or she will want to consult with appropriate legal counsel to determine what options are available.
Source: appeal-democrat.com, "Teen's parents file suit in fatal Sutter County train crash", Harold Kruger, Oct. 5, 2016