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Ems311a

Truck vs. Train

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Job: Security/EMT Officer

Location:Steel Plant

Incident: Train vs. Truck

Damage: Minor to front right side. Vehicle still drivable.

Time: 06:45 am

Visibility: minimal. Light sources - artificial and natural of no help

I was recently involved in an accident with a train. This particular intersection has no audio/visual alarms to indicate an approaching train. This must be done visually. At 06:45 am I noticed the train present but due to the lighting at the time it did not appear to be moving. I had stopped at the intersection with the intention of making a left turn. As I proceeded to make the left, I noticed more clearly that another contractor was in the "wrong lane" in fact blocking my route of travel. I came to a stop partially on the tracks attwmting to assess his intentons. After a minute or two (and before considering frtting out of truck to address issue) this vehicle honked at me to warn the train was moving in my direction. I proceeded to attempt to get out of the way and in doing so got clopped on the front right side. Train came to a stop and i ceased efforts to move vehicle. I contacted my partner and asked the Supervisor (for my company) to immediately respond (he did). The RR and plant managers (safety and other) also responded. RR appeared initially as trying to "get stories" straight as they claim the signal man "yelled" at me? There was at no time an obvious person present on the train car as I never saw any flashing lights or lanterns or any audible sounds. The engine pushing the cars was around a bend, out of line of site approximately 80 to 100 yrds away. Since the incident, I have been removed from the site and waiting re-assignment which I've been told is less money and further away.

My question is do I have any legal claims against the facility which already has numerous safety related injuries and violation claimsband has been issued fines by both OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency?

Although I did not experience any physical injuries. I am noticing emotional turmoil after the accident ti include sleeplessness and flashbacks

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Not clear why this is on a board about workplace safety and injuries.

 

 

My question is do I have any legal claims against the facility which already has numerous safety related injuries and violation claimsband has been issued fines by both OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency?

 

Your post is a bit convoluted as to what happened.  It is not at all clear what "facility" you're talking about.  Also "claimsband" is not a word as far as I know.  As far as I can understand your post, you drove onto railroad tracks despite being unable to clear the tracks safely and despite knowing a train was nearby.  That is incredibly unsafe driving.  If you're concerned about getting your vehicle repaired, I suggest you contact your auto insurance carrier (assuming you had collision coverage on your policy).

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Ditto to the above. I see zero liability against your employer for this. It is certainly not their fault you left the vehicle sitting on active train tracks, in view of a train. Nor is it their fault, you were paying so little attention that when the train started moving, you didn't immediately move the vehicle. Consider yourself very lucky it was not worse.

 

If they wish to reassign you based on this, they may legally do so.

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The tracks were not obviously active. The intersection does not have audible or visual warning devices or gates to come down and block the roadway as other locations on this property do. As far as seeing the cars.... the train cars and engines sit throughout the site on numerous tracks in both active and inactive status. The RR does not feel compelled to discuss any actions or activity with anyone other than amongst themselves unless it's able to cause a huge issue for them.

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It's been a long time since I took driver's education, but one thing I remember rather vividly is that a majority of railroad crossings in the U.S. are marked by nothing other than then X-shaped black and while "railroad crossing" sign (a "crossbuck" -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbuck).  You say that the "tracks were not obviously active."  That's fine, but did you have any reason to believe they were not active?  Assuming that they weren't active seems like a really bad idea given the potential consequences if you've assumed incorrectly.

 

Your follow up post didn't address any of the other points I made in my prior response, so I don't have more than that to add.

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