Fatal Evans City Crash Spurs Questions About Rail Security

May 16, 2013

Fatal Evans City crash spurs questions about rail security

Two people are dead and another eight people are injured as the result of a horrible bus-train crash in Evans City. Criminal charges have been filed against the bus driver in connection with the incident late last month, but questions are also being raised about whether there isn’t some liability to be shared by the railroad.

According to authorities, this is what happened. It was about 8 a.m. on April 26. The bus was on a regular route carrying a group of adults to community services. The victims included elderly individuals as well as some special needs adults.

Investigators say that video from an on-board system on the bus shows that as the vehicle approached the crossing, the driver didn’t stop and didn’t look for a possible train as required by law. Meanwhile, those on the bus can be seen and heard trying to raise the alarm that the train was coming.

Police say audio from the recording indicates that the train was blowing its horns, and passengers can be seen bracing for the crash. When it happens, bodies are flung all around inside the passenger compartment. Afterward, officers say, the bus driver can be heard asking if anyone is hurt and saying that there was no rail crossing warning light, suggesting inadequate security.

The bus driver is now facing charges of homicide by vehicle and assault. But questions continue to be raised about whether he should bear responsibility for the tragedy alone. Authorities acknowledge that it was foggy that morning. That could have contributed to the crash. But the driver’s attorney also questions whether the operators of the train did all they were required to do to avoid this dangerous situation.

And there is the question as to whether the lack of anything other than a static railroad crossing sign was adequate security.

Victims of such disaster deserve answers to their questions and have a right to due compensation for any and all losses suffered and can pursue that justice by contacting an attorney.