Here in Baltimore, we have a range of public transportation choices that make for convenient and relatively comfortable travel throughout the city and environs. Many of the transit lines are handled by light rail and commuter rail services. While these subway and rail lines are very helpful in getting around the city, dangers do lurk on every level crossing and pedestrian crossover. As a Maryland personal injury and auto accident attorney, I understand how a simple walk across railroad tracks can end tragically.
While the railroads provide a fair degree of safety and warning equipment, sometimes that is not enough. Especially for those persons who are distracted from the very real danger of a train collision and its potential for fatal results.
Two relatively recent deaths on railroad tracks in the city point up the importance of remaining aware of one’s surroundings, as well as not taking unnecessary risks whenever near a railroad right-of-way.
According to a news article, a man was struck and killed in mid-January by a southbound Amtrak passenger train just south of the railroad’s Aberdeen station. According to reports, officers responded to a call around 2:30pm regarding a body that was seen about 15 feet from the railroad’s southbound track in the 600 block of S. Philadelphia Blvd. At the time of the report, police did not know the cause of the accident and were investigating the death.
This accident came just a week after a young high school girl died when she was struck by another Amtrak train near Middle River in Baltimore County. Based on reports at the time, Amtrak and MARC traffic along the Northeast Corridor was disrupted Tuesday, January 5, following the collision that killed 14-year-old Ann Marie Stickel of the 700 block of Maple Crest Drive.
Police reports indicate that the southbound train hit the girl as she and a friend were walking along the tracks with their backs to the oncoming train. The Kenwood High School student and the other girl were not authorized to be on the tracks, according to police. The youngster was later found to be wearing headphones, which prevented her from hearing the train until it was too late.
The girl’s friend, who was not wearing earphones, jumped out of the way just in time. The accident occurred about 11 miles north of Penn Station involving a Northeast Regional train traveling from New York to Washington.
Man fatally struck by Amtrak train near Aberdeen station, BaltimoreSun.com, January 16, 2010
Middle River Girl Hit, Killed By Train, BaltimoreSun.com, January 6, 2010