A 60-year-old driver was killed when his Mack truck collided with a train and caught fire. According to The Associated Press, the fatal train accident occurred at U.S. Highway 64 and Oklahoma Highway 108 in Perry. Officials say the driver was turning when his truck was hit on the driver’s side by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train. He was trapped inside the burning wreckage and fatally injured. No injuries were reported on the train. It is unclear why the accident occurred or if the location had functioning railroad crossing warning signs.
The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis compiles data regarding railroad accidents throughout the country. According to a May 10 search of their records, there were 160 railroad accidents and incidents in Oklahoma in the year 2012. During that same year there were 45 train accidents, three train accident deaths, and one train accident injury in Oklahoma. Human factors were the cause of 13 accidents and 18 accidents were caused by track conditions.
The size of trains makes them capable of causing fatal or catastrophic injuries at even low speeds. Whenever a fatal crash occurs, there are many questions that must be answered. Was the train operator inattentive or otherwise careless? Were the tracks poorly maintained? Were the safety devices in proper working order? Did the improper maintenance of the train contribute to the crash?
Depending on the nature and circumstances of the crash, it may be possible to hold various parties liable for injuries, damages, and losses suffered in train accidents. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at the Maples Law Firm help families of fatal train accident victims get fair compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses. If you have suffered a loss in an Oklahoma accident, please call our offices at (888) 226-6159 to discuss your legal rights and options.