On Monday, June 27, 2022, an Amtrak commuter train crashed and derailed near Mendon, Missouri. This comes a day after another Amtrak collision near Brentwood, California. Both catastrophic accidents resulted in multiple injuries and at least three deaths at each wreck.
According to the local news station KMBS 9, the Mendon, Missouri Amtrak derailment occurred at a train crossing that is on Missouri’s statewide list for safety improvements from the Missouri Department of Transportation. As recently as February of this year, the public crossing was listed for installation of lights, gates, and roadway improvements.
Although the accident involved an Amtrak commuter train, the Federal Railroad Administration lists BNSF Railway Company as the owner and operator of the track.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has publicly announced his sympathy for the Missouri and Northern California Amtrak crashes and stated that the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has investigators in route to both accident sites.
Depending on the investigation’s findings, BNSF and Amtrak may take steps to prevent such accidents from happening again. However, railroads are known to not have strict self-regulatory measures in place. Outside influence is often necessary to get railway companies to be prevent future accidents and to properly compensate anyone injured by the railroad company’s actions or failure to take action. Aside from making sure you are fully compensated for any damages caused by a railroad, the best way to cause a railroad to prevent future accidents is by making them pay for the damages they caused.
According to the Kansas City Star, Mike Spencer, a farmer in the Mendon Missouri area posted a video on Facebook about the dangerous and uncontrolled crossing just a couple weeks before the crash. Spencer stated, “The knew it was unsafe. That was pretty much a no-brainer . . . I predicted this was going to happen. I was certain it was going to happen. It was just a matter of time. They never even offered to cut brush back for us so we could at least see.”
Ultimately, the railroad knew that this was a dangerous crossing and federal state and tax dollars were already projected for the project to install lights, gates, and roadway improvement at the public crossing at a cost of $400,000. BNSF knew that upwards of 58 trains cross these tracks a day and the top speed is 90mph. Why were these speeds not reduced if BNSF and Amtrak knew this crossing was dangerous? Our firm has accessed documents indicating the dangers of this crossing.
If you are injured in a train accident, a successful lawsuit against the railway company will depend upon having a tough and experienced attorney in railway accidents on your side. Yaeger & Jungbauer Barristers, PLC has been involved in railway litigation since 1929. We know railroad law and what to do when tragedy strikes. We know how to thoroughly investigate a railroad accident, preserve evidence, deal with the railroad, get you the medical care you need, and advise you every step of the way.
Attorney William Jungbauer has 44 years of litigation experience against railroads, including successful lawsuits against BNSF and Amtrak in derailments and fatal accidents.
For more on this crash visit these news sites: