Brian Leckness was killed, and Gary Eilers critically injured, on April 20th, 2013 after a train hit the Dodge Dakota pick-up Eilers was driving. According to the State Patrol, the two Waterloo residents were hit by the westbound train near 4th Street at around 8 a.m. and dragged nearly three blocks.
Brian, who was 32 at the time of the accident, was pronounced dead on the scene, while 73-year old Gary was airlifted in critical condition to the Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa and then to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.
The State Patrol reported that Gary had failed to yield at the tracks, causing his truck to be on the tracks when the train came barreling through. As is common in rural areas, the crossing is posted with a yield sign but does not have gates or other safety mechanisms to prevent drivers from entering the danger zone. Of the four crossings in the town, only one is gated while the three others rely on drivers heeding the yield sign.
According to City Clerk Lori Peterson, the crossings have a generous line of sight and the train blows its whistle in advance of the crossing. Nonetheless, according to resident Richard Burcham, in the prior three months there have been three accidents at the crossing. It is clear, however, that adequate warnings at these railroad crossings would prevent most or all of these accidents from occurring.
In order to successfully sue for damages caused on or near a railway, you need to prove that the railway company or its workers had been negligent in operating the train or that it did not have a proper system in place to warn drivers and pedestrians of oncoming trains.
In order to hold the railway accountable and determine if it had acted improperly, you need a law firm that is capable of thoroughly analyzing a railroad accident, is experienced in protecting you from being intimidated by the powerful railway companies and has relevant railway law experience to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.