Earlier this month in Jacksonville, an accident between a passenger car and an Amtrak train left three people injured. However, miraculously no one was fatally injured in the accident that resulted in the vehicle being cut in half by the train. According to one local news source, the accident was caused by the driver of the car attempting to cross the railroad tracks while the gate arms were in the down position.
Evidently, the vehicle had three people in it at the time of the accident. Video surveillance that was retrieved from the scene shows the driver of the vehicle trying to navigate around the crossing arms, which had been down for several seconds. The video also shows the car getting sheared in half by the massive train.
Miraculously, no one was seriously injured in the accident. In fact, the video shows the driver and one of his passengers outside the car walking around before emergency responders arrived on the scene. The back-seat passenger did sustain injuries and was taken to UF Health Jacksonville. Police issued a citation to the driver of the car for negligently crossing the tracks while the gate arms were down.
Negligent Driving on Maryland Roads
Drivers have a duty to their passengers as well as others on the road to operate their vehicles in a safe manner and in accordance with all traffic laws and posted traffic signs. When a driver acts in a negligent or reckless manner and causes an accident, that driver may be held liable by those injured by the negligent conduct.
Railroad crossings can pose a serious hazard to motorists if they are not treated with care. While this accident took place in Florida, very similar laws apply in Maryland. For example, Maryland law requires that all drivers stop when the crossing gate arms are down, and it even requires the drivers of some vehicles to come to a complete stop prior to crossing even when the arms are not down. These include:
- School buses,
- Passenger buses,
- Any passenger vehicle for hire, and
- Trucks carrying hazardous material.
These vehicles, under Maryland law, must stop within 50 feet of the tracks prior to crossing. Failure to do so may result in a citation and, should an accident result, in civil liability to the injured parties.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of car accident while a passenger, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on another party’s negligence. These lawsuits, however, can be complex and often require a thorough knowledge of the law. It is advised that anyone thinking about filing a lawsuit contact a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney prior to doing so. The skilled attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience enforcing the rights of injured Marylanders in all kinds of personal injury cases. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Pennsylvania Police Search for Maryland Man Allegedly Involved in DUI Hit-and-Run Accident, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published May 26, 2015.
Mailman in Critical Condition after Single-Vehicle Accident in Prince George’s County, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published April 23, 2015.