Collisions involving motor vehicles and railroad trains are not common in central Wisconsin, but when such accidents occur, the results are usually catastrophic. A recent collision involving the Metra commuter train and a dump truck demonstrates the serious nature of such accidents.
On Monday, May 23, 2022, at about 7:24 a.m., police from Grayslake/Hainesville and firefighters and paramedics from the Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District responded to reports of a collision involving a Metra train and a large dump truck. According to the first responders, the train was partially derailed by the collision, and the truck driver appeared to have been severely injured.
Upon further inspection, the emergency responders declared that the truck driver died in the first moments of the collision. An injured passenger was found in the forward-most train car. The passenger was moved using a Stokes basket to a waiting ambulance. The passenger was taken to a nearby hospital.
According to photos found on Google Earth Street View, the crossing had no warning lights or crossing gates. The only warning devices were a stop sign and a crossbuck sign saying “Railroad Crossing.”
Who is liable?
Finding fault for this accident may take a considerable amount of time. Did the truck driver fail to heed the warning signs or hear the train whistle? Was the train complying with applicable speed limits? Were the men driving the train paying attention to cross traffic? The truck driver’s family is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits from the Wisconsin Uninsured Employee’s Fund, and they may be entitled to a recovery from the operators of Metra if the Metra employees were negligent or if the condition of the rail crossing did not comply with state or federal regulations.
Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one under similar circumstances may wonder about recovering damages for their losses. A conference with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can provide a helpful analysis of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages for injuries.