By Randy Appleton, VA/NC Railroad Injury Attorney
A spokesperson for CSX says that a train carrying a load of lumber collided head-on with one of its own hi-rail pick-up trucks. The accident happened Monday a little after 1 p.m. about a half a mile from Belmeade Drive and Mt. Holly Road in northwest Charlotte. Though no one on board the train was injured, the worker operating the hi-rail truck did suffer injuries that required treatment at a local hospital.
The company says that crews took longer than normal to respond to the accident given the rocky terrain surrounding that portion of the train track. Safety crews attempted to use a 4X4 vehicle to reach the accident scene but, after that failed, they had to put the injured worker on a stretcher and walk him a half a mile down the tracks until they could put him in an emergency truck.
CSX says that it will be investigating what led to the head-on collision and what mistakes might have caused the hi-rail truck to be on the same track as the lumber-carrying train.
A high rail pick-up truck is a special kind of road-rail vehicle that is designed to operate on both train tracks and conventional roads. The truck in question was fitted with steel wheels in addition to normal rubber tires to allow it to maneuver down train tracks. CSX says that pick-up trucks like the one involved in the most recent accident are equipped to ride on railroad tracks and often used to conduct track inspections and maintenance.
Working for a railroad, as a conductor, engineer, welder or other transportation employee, can be an incredibly dangerous job. Federal law is clear that employees have a reasonable expectation that the equipment being used around them will be operated in a safe manner. Those injured in railroad accidents should consult with an experienced Virginia railroad injury lawyer who can help them assess their legal options.
The skilled attorneys at my firm have been involved in numerous cases in which we have represented workers or the families of workers who have been seriously injured or killed while on the job. In one case out of Tennessee, my firm was able to secure an $8.6 million jury verdict for the family of a CSX railroad worker who lost his life due to lung cancer (the verdict is currently on appeal in Tennessee). The worker had been exposed to hazardous chemicals, which resulted in lasting damage to the man’s health.
Those who have been seriously injured in workplace accidents will likely have many questions about how to move forward and put the pieces of their life back together. If you’ve been injured and have questions and concerns about what to do next, the following frequently asked questions contain some important basic information about railroad accident claims in Virginia.
Here’s a video where one of our attorneys discusses when to hire a railroad worker injury lawyer: