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Missouri jury rules in favor of train accident victim's family

Trains are very large in size and magnitude and wield tremendous power and force. They are large enough in size to cause major train accidents, especially when there are obstructed views at railroad crossings. This was the case in 2008 when a freight train driving through Missouri took the life of a 10-year-old girl.

According to reports, the vegetation near the railroad crossing was significantly overgrown, causing obstructed views from the intersection. Additionally, it was determined that the train was not equipped with a proper horn. As the vehicle the young girl was in crossed the tracks, the oncoming train slammed into it. The girl was killed as a result.

The child's mother sued the train company following the accident. Following the recent Missouri trial, the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The jury members awarded the young girl's family $4 million in damages.

Many train accidents occur each year in the United States. The National Transportation Safety Board reports that about 60 percent of all train intersection crossing fatalities occur at unprotected intersections, and that approximately 80 percent of all public railroad crossings do not have lights and safety gates to protect pedestrians and drivers.

As this tragic case shows, serious injury and even death can result from a train accident. The government has put in place a number of rules that train companies are required to follow in order to ensure the safety of train drivers and others on the road. In order for Missouri pedestrians and drivers to remain safe and protected, it is important that train companies comply with the established regulations.

Source: The Republic, "Missouri jury awards $4M in damages in civil case involving a fatal BNSF train accident," 6 May 2011

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