Patricia Hendrix was killed on April 1st, 2013 after being struck by a freight train while crossing the train tracks on foot. The Northeast-bound Union Pacific train hit Patricia as she attempted to cross the tracks near the Wildcat Road crossing.
At 7:45 p.m. authorities received a call from the train’s conductor reporting that he thought he may have hit a pedestrian. When authorities arrived on the scene, they found Patricia about a quarter mile from the engine. Patricia had a faint pulse but was unresponsive. She was taken to the Prescott helipad to await the life net helicopter, but went into cardiac arrest and died before the chopper arrived.
Chief Brian Russell says there is no suspicion of foul play or suicide. Nonetheless, Patricia’s body was sent to the state’s crime lab, and a Union Pacific special agent was on the scene to investigate the accident.
When assessing responsibility for damages caused by a train accident, the court will take into account the respective part each side played in it. For example, not properly warning of oncoming trains or a train traveling at an excessive speed would be indications of the railroad’s fault. On the other hand not heeding train crossing warnings or behaving carelessly around the train’s tracks may shift some responsibility for the accident onto the pedestrian.
Attempts to impose liability on the railway company often leads to the company’s attempts to prove the injured party was trying to commit suicide or, at the very least, had contributed to the accident by being careless near the tracks.
If you or someone you care about has been injured or killed by a train, contact an attorney with expertise in the field of railroad injuries and experience with the railway companies’ methods. This can help ensure that you are not harassed or intimidated by the railways and are in the best position to protect your legal rights.