A three count wrongful death lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court claims that Metra negligently operated the crossing gates that resulted in the death of an Illinois woman. The Chicago Sun Times reports that the victim’s family filed the lawsuit last Wednesday, alleging that the woman was trapped between the malfunctioning gates and was unable to move her vehicle prior to being struck by a BNSF Metra train a year ago in February 2012. The train in question was traveling at top speed towards Chicago when it struck the woman’s vehicle at the La Grange Road Metra station. The lawsuit names Metra and the City of La Grange as defendants and claims that Metra negligently operated the crossing gates, lights and signals which caused the deceased’s vehicle to be struck. It also claims that the conductor failed to keep a proper lookout. The lawsuit is seeking more than $150,000 in damages.
As our transportation grid becomes more complex and interconnected, it is important to be aware that motor vehicles are extremely dangerous and contribute to a significant number of fatalities every year. While train accidents are less common than other types of transportation accidents, they are fast moving and require a significant amount of awareness. Train conductors, like all other drivers can make mistakes with fatal consequences. In this case, it was unfortunate that the train conductor was unable to stop in time to prevent this accident. Roughly 24 people were killed by Metra trains in 2012, which raises questions about the safety of these trains. While commuter train transportation is a vital part of Chicagoland’s transportation system, these vehicles are extremely fast moving and accidents can lead to very serious injuries.
Since many of us living in the Chicago area encounter train tracks everyday, it is important to remind our readers how they can lower their risk of serious injury when approaching or crossing over tracks. There is never any reason to drive or walk through or around crossing gates when a Metra train is approaching. No matter what the situation, your life is always more important than beating an oncoming train. Many of the Metra injuries in 2012 involved people either driving or running through crossing gates causing them to be hit by the train. These trains are fast moving and difficult to stop. Pedestrians and drivers must be aware that we all need to share the roads and to respect other forms of transportation. The Chicago accident lawyers of our firm know that transportation accidents are frequent in Chicago and can be life altering and severe. Our attorneys have handled nearly every type of transportation related injury lawsuit and understand just how serious train related accidents can be for the victims and their families. An accident involving a train usually results in a fatality or a severe and permanent injury for those involved, so it is important to prevent these accidents from happening in the first place to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.