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At Least 20 Injured In Train Collision

Posted on October 1, 2012

After colliding with a big rig truck, an Amtrak train carrying about 169 passengers derailed in California’s Central Valley.

Working into the early hours of Tuesday morning, crews worked to remove the two derailed cars and repair the damaged railroad tracks.

According to authorities, at least 20 passengers experienced minor to moderate injuries.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, carrying cotton rubbish did not yield for the train, resulting in collision between the two, on Monday afternoon.The locomotive and two passenger cars were pushed from the track due to the impact, in the farming community of Hanford.

A passenger, Edmund Sanders, who had missed his Greyhound bus from Fresno en route to Los Angeles spoke with the Fresno Bee:

“Right after it happened I see all these people with a terrified look on their faces, all trying to get to the front of the train. I tried as best I could to try and calm people down and help them get off that train. I really think that God has his hands on that train today.”

Before hitting a switchback and derailing, the train travelled about 600 feet after the collision, California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Harris said.

Officials have yet to determine the speed of the train and the truck before the collision, through the average speed of an Amtrak train is about 70-80 mph and the speed limit on the highway the driver was on is 55 mph, Harris said.

Cotton seeds were scattered across the scene and the truck’s metal pieces were seen inside the train, after the collision. Luggage had been thrown from the train and was dispersed around the train.

The majority of the injuries were minor and included bruises, bumps, scrapes and a few broken bones, King County Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam told The Associated Press. 

The crossing where the crash occurred was supplied with a gate to stop traffic, Putnam said.

No specific details on the extent of the injuries was released by Adventist Medical Center’s spokeswoman, Christine Pickering. However, she did say eight of the injured passengers were taken to the hospital and five more were expected to be treated there.

“We did call in additional physicians and staff,” Pickering told The Associated Press.

The nearby Adventist Medical Center, in Selma, admitted four other injured passengers, while seven others went to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, authorities said.

Authorities are investigating the crash to see whether it was caused by a malfunctioning cross arm or if it was due to an error or negligence from the driver, the CHP said.

If you are involved in an accident due to another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.

Cases where negligence is involved are considered to be personal injury cases. Due to the complexities of personal injury cases, it is vital to contact an attorney who is incredibly knowledgable in the field and has plenty of invaluable experience.

Contact an attorney today to see how much compensation you are entitled to for your losses.


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