On October 23, 2021, three people died as a result of a train and two-vehicle accident in Bloomington, Texas. Steven Carreon, a 34-year-old from Port Lavaca, was traveling at a high rate of speed down Highway 185 when he hit the back of a Nissan Altima. 51-year-old Minerva Reyes was driving the vehicle, and 19-year-old Liliana Torres was riding in the passenger seat. The Nissan was stopped at train tracks waiting for a train to pass. The collision propelled the Nissan Altima into the moving train.
Both Reyes and Torres were pronounced dead at the scene. Carreon passed away from his injuries the following morning. The Texas Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
How Frequent Are Train Accidents?
Although train accidents are less frequent than accidents involving only motor vehicles, they are not as uncommon as many people think, and the consequences are often devastating. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were 1,901 vehicle-train collisions in 2020. Of these collisions, 198 resulted in fatalities, and 688 resulted in injuries.
Texas leads the country in train accidents. Out of the 1,901 vehicle-train collisions that occurred in 2020, 191 of these accidents happened in Texas. This statistic makes sense because Texas has 10,539 miles of railroad track—more than any other state in the country. These accidents are often devastating for the victims and their families.
What are Common Causes of Train Accidents in Fort Bend?
Accidents involving trains have various causes. Some common causes of railroad accidents in Fort Bend County include:
• Train Conductor Negligence. There are many ways that a train conductor could be negligent, including improper breaking, speeding on the tracks, or falling asleep on the job. Train companies are required to provide adequate training to conductors. They must ensure that federal guidelines and company procedures are followed.
• Unprotected Railroad Crossings. Drivers rely on train crossing lights and bars to alert them to oncoming trains. If these warning signs are defective, it can cause an accident. Train companies are required to put warning signs at train crossings and ensure that they are regularly maintained.
• Defective Electrical or Mechanical Equipment. Trains are complex machines. If a piece of equipment (like a rail switch or rail signal) fails, the manufacturer distributor or maintenance company could be liable.
• Improper Maintenance of Tracks. Obstructions on the tracks can cause a derailment. Conductors should be aware of their surroundings to manage potentially dangerous situations quickly and safely.
• Reckless Drivers. Like the accident in Bloomington, a reckless driver can cause a railroad accident by speeding or ignoring warning signs.
• Stalled Cars. Vehicles can stall on train tracks when drivers slow down to cross bumpy grades. If a train is approaching, you should leave your vehicle and get as far away from the car as possible.
The law requires that train companies install a black box that records the train’s complete operation (speed, movements, and direction) so it can be reviewed during an investigation if an accident occurs. Regardless of the cause of your accident, an experienced Fort Bend attorney will fight aggressively to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Why Do You Need a Fort Bend Personal Injury Attorney After a Train Accident?
If you or a loved one have been involved in a railroad accident, it is critical to reach out to an experienced Fort Bend attorney. A personal injury attorney will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
It is important to work with a lawyer who is an expert in these types of cases. Train accidents are more complex than ordinary traffic accidents for various reasons, including:
• They typically involve state and federal accident investigations that can drag on for months;
• The laws governing railroad operations and accidents are complicated; and
• Multiple parties and insurance companies are often involved and liable.
A qualified attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident and determine if a railroad employee, company, or other party is at fault. It is critical to act quickly when contacting an attorney so that all relevant evidence can be collected.
Your Sugar Land Train Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were in a train accident, you should reach out to a qualified Sugar Land attorney as soon as possible. Adam Capetillo is a Fort Bend County native who will evaluate your case and provide the best possible representation. As a skilled personal injury lawyer in Sugar Land, Adam Capetillo can effectively guide you through the entire process from start to finish. Call Capetillo Law Firm today for a free consultation.