A recent crash gave the Louisiana State Police the chance to remind motorists that they are required heed warning devices at railroad crossings and yield the right-of-way to trains. This may seem obvious to some readers, but fatal accident statistics from around the country often include vehicle vs. train crashes. Unfortunately, the state’s statistics for 2015 will include this crash in which three people died, including two 12-year-old girls.
Troopers with the Louisiana State Police report that a vehicle occupied by two adults and four children was heading north on Louisiana Highway 88. For some reason, the vehicle stopped on the railroad tracks. At the same time, an eastbound Amtrak train rapidly approached the intersection and struck the vehicle.
The vehicle’s driver, a 70-year-old woman, died in the crash along with the two preteen girls. Also in the vehicle were two boys and a 49-year-old man. All three of them survived the crash, but they suffered critical injuries. Their current conditions are not known.
The two adults share a last name, but at last report, police were unable to determine if or how they were related. No one on the passenger train was injured, and it resumed its trip at around 8:45 p.m. Authorities do not suspect impairment as a contributing factor, but they are continuing to investigate the accident.
As the investigation into this fatal accident continues, the families of the two deceased girls and the injured parties may also end up conducting their own investigations as part of civil actions. In order to prove negligence, it will be necessary to provide the court with evidence that establishes it. Successfully doing so could result in an award of damages.