Amtrak Train Kills Pedestrian in Davis, Highlighting the Unique Dangers Trains Pose in California

April 15th, 2019

Tragic Pedestrian Train Accident

An Amtrak Capitol Corridor train in Sacramento recently killed a pedestrian in Davis, highlighting the particular dangers that trains play in causing accidents in California.  According to a Sacramento Bee report regarding the incident, Amtrak reported the victim was on the tracks near the Amtrak station in Davis when a train that was headed for Sacramento after having left Oakland earlier in the afternoon struck and killed the victim.   Amtrak further reported there were no injuries to the 26 passengers on board the train or to the train’s crew. Another story from the Davis Enterprise newspaper regarding the Davis accident stated that, after reviewing security camera footage of the incident and interviewing witnesses at the scene, police reported that the man appeared to have ”dashed” in front of the train immediately before it struck him. Amtrak also told the Davis Enterprise that over 2000 people nationwide are killed annually in “trespassing” incidents like this.  However, another incident which occurred several days prior to the Davis incident in which a pedestrian who was killed by a freight train in Sacramento several days prior to the recent incident in Davis is illustrative of the larger point that California experiences a large number of these incidents, which often are more complicated than the railroad portrays them to be.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty over whether the recent incident in Davis was the result of a passenger jumping in front of the train, train fatalities are not always the responsibility of a pedestrian or the victim, as Amtrak appears to be suggesting in connection with this incident.  Many times, the crossing signals (which the particular railroad line may be responsible for maintaining) are not functioning properly or the train simply barrels through an intersection or a portion of track at faster than the recommended speed, leaving either a passenger or a car attempting to cross the tracks with insufficient time to get out of the way and avoid an incident.  Therefore, there could be many factors at play in the incident that need to be properly explored. if you or a loved one were injured or killed by a train in California, then you need to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an incident involving a train, no matter the circumstances that led to the occurrence of the incident, so that you have help in breaking down the root cause of the incident and whether the railroad also had some blame in the incident.  

California: Ground Zero for Train Incidents Involving Not Only Pedestrians But Motor Vehicles As Well

Although this most recent incident took place in northern California, California, and in particular Southern California is particular danger spot for accidents involving trains.  According to a recent report from San Diego’s NBC News 7, Los Angeles County is the most dangerous county in the United States for train vs. pedestrian accidents according to data from the federal Federal Railway Administration.

Although many pedestrian accidents may be due to a person walking onto railroad tracks in an episode that appears to be the victim’s fault, or “trespassing” incidents as railroads like to refer to them, the number of incidents where this is actually the case is often overstated.  Indeed, railroad lines may sometimes contribute to the occurrence of railroad incidents involving pedestrians as well as motor vehicles by not taking steps to adequately protect pedestrians from ignoring warning barriers or protecting pedestrians from harm when a train is approaching.  In other circumstances, the railroad lines simply may be negligent in failing to install the appropriate safety equipment or properly maintaining equipment so both pedestrians and motorists may have no warning whatsoever that a train is approaching. Thus, every train accident is not an open and shut case where the victim is at fault, even as the railroads may sometimes suggest.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at JT Legal Group if You or a Loved One Were Injured or Killed in A Hit and Run Accident in Los Angeles or Elsewhere in Southern California

Was you, or someone you love, injured or killed by a hit and run driver in Los Angeles or elsewhere Southern California?  This is an extremely common occurrence in both Los Angeles as well as California more generally, so much so that California has the highest number of hit and run crashes in the country by far. If this impacted you or someone you know or love, contact us immediately at (888) 529-3111 or info@jtlegalgroup.com. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have successfully pursued personal injury claims against dozens of negligent drivers who have injured or killed pedestrians, bicyclists or innocent bystanders in Los Angeles in the past in hit and run accidents and we fight tooth and nail to recover every element of damage for our clients that they are entitled to under California law.  Without the help of a trusted personal injury law firm like JT Legal Group when you have been injured or killed in a hit and run incident in Los Angeles or some other part of Southern California, your claim may be subject to getting pushed to the side or completely rejected. For more information, including a no cost consultation regarding your particular situation, contact our firm immediately – we’re here to help you.

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Michael Avanesian, Esq.