Girardi | Keese

California train accident results in potential wrongful death

Train accidents typically occur without warning, and when they also involve smaller vehicles they can be devastating. California authorities are trying to piece together the factors leading to a recent train accident that resulted in the potentially wrongful death of one man. A second man, the driver of the two men's vehicle, was transported to an area hospital with significant injuries.

Officials are not yet sure why the men's Honda Civic was stopped on the train tracks near the Soledad Correctional Facility. When the southbound freight train slammed into the Honda, the passenger was thrown from the vehicle. Emergency personnel pronounced that man dead at the scene of the collision.

The driver of the vehicle survived the initial impact, but suffered severe injuries. The train itself received little damage, and none of the train's occupants were hurt in the accident. While authorities aren't sure why the Honda stopped on the tracks, they have indicated that they do not suspect drugs or alcohol as contributing factors. Initial reports do indicate that the authorities are investigating whether the car could have been experiencing any mechanical issues.

In a catastrophic train accident like this one, victims can suffer major injuries, if not death. In some cases, surviving relatives will choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against parties that could have partial or full liability for causing the train accident. This can help them cover final costs like funeral expenses or providing for any children left behind. Prevailing in such a California lawsuit will require a presentation of evidence demonstrating that another party's negligence caused or contributed to the fatal collision.

Source:, "One Dead in Soledad Train Accident," Brooke Holmquist, Oct. 31, 2012

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