Tag Archives: Fatal accident

Valhalla, NY: Further incident two-years on from multiple fatality accident

30 Jan

Media and community  interest in the Commerce Street level crossing in Valhalla, New York, has been heightened by a further incident after an accident killed five railway passengers and a motorist. In the latest incident at about 11.00am on January 27th, 2017, a barrier was knocked-off, it is presumed because it was struck by a vehicle using the crossing when the barrier was descending or had already descended.

 

 

 

Jeanerette, LA: truck rear-ended, fatality results

30 Jan

In the aftermath of an accident at the level crossing of the US90 highway near Jeanerette, Louisiana that cost the life of a truck driver, the State’s Department of Transportation is further considering how the level crossing might be eliminated.

The accident at about 11.30am on January 25th, 2017 was unusual in a number of ways. Firstly the fact that there is a level crossing in the first place is unusual as US-90 is in line for upgrading to Interstate standards which would require grade separation. The railway crossing at grade serves a major sugar processing factory. In considering grade separation the options regrade separating by way of a road over rail bridge or by a pipeline removing the need for the highway-rail crossing.

Secondly it wasn’t a collision between a train and a truck. On this occasion a truck had stopped because a train was present when it was rear-ended by another heavy truck, the driver of which was killed. This was because the load shifted and compromised the integrity of the driving cab with fatal consequences.

Logic says that grade separation is the only answer even though it will prove costly, a point recognised by Louisiana DoT which was already at the feasibility stage of a project to eliminate this accident prone level crossing.

 

Dhaka, Bangladesh: Railway worker killed saving child

30 Jan

A railway maintenance worker was killed when he intervened to save the life of a young child who was standing in the path of a train. Pushing the girl clear of the track saved the life of the child but cost the railway worker his. The girl and her mother had already been pushed to the ground clear of the track on which the train was approaching. The girl then stood up and stepped into the path of the train. The incident occurred at lunchtime on January 27th, 2017 in the Kuril district of Dhaka.

 

Gazipur, Bangladesh: Five killed in crossing collision

10 Jan

Five persons were killed during the morning of January 8th, 2017, when the car in which they were travelling was struck by a train on a level crossing near Gazipur. This level crossing has no protection other than a sign warning of its presence. Local reports say that the road on which the victims were travelling is of relatively recent construction. Thus, there is a suggestion that the level crossing itself is informal and not recognised as a crossing for which the railway administration accepts responsibility.

Previously, in 2016 a man was killed when he was struck by a train leading to an intensification of community demands that the level crossing is upgraded and protected to minimise the risk of a recurrence

Ratchaburi Province, Thailand: Four killed as pick-up hit by train

26 Sep

The driver of a pick-up truck and three passengers travelling with him were killed when the vehicle was hit by a train on a level crossing between Potharam and Jed Samian, Ratcchaburi Province.

Witnesses of the accident which occurred during the evening of September 24th, have said that the pick-up was in a line of traffic that was waiting for the train to cross the highway. Then the pick-up was driven from the queue and had overtaken the queue of traffic. The pick-up was crossing the railway as the train hit the vehicle with fatal consequences for the four occupants of the road vehicle.

 

 

Needham Market, UK: Network Rail fined GBP 4.0 million for 2011 crossing fatality

22 Sep

Network Rail, having previously admitted their guilt, has been fined GBP 4.0 million in the matter of a fatality on the Gipsy Lane footpath level crossing near Needham Market, Suffolk, in August 2011.

Passing sentence Judge Martyn Levett said he would have imposed a fine of GBP 6.0 million but for Network Rail’s guilty plea at the first opportunity.

Given just five-seconds visual warning of a train in respect of a known high-risk crossing where it might take a vulnerable user twice that to cross, a lower speed limit should have been imposed.

Indeed, Network Rail staff had proposed a cut from 100 mph to 55mph  not long before the accident. However, no change was made before the fatality occurred as a more senior manager had planned to look at this when he returned from holiday. The judge said the decision should have been made there and then, adding a limit had been imposed immediately after the death.

 

Network Rail is  working to replace the crossing with a footbridge.

Needham Market, UK:Big fine on its way

19 Sep

During the first day of a sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, following a plea of guilty at a prior magistrates hearing, it emerged that Network Rail could be faced with a fine of up to GBP6.0 million. This is in the context of a fatal collision between a train and a pedestrian using the Gipsy Lane footpath crossing near Needham Market, Suffolk, on August 24th, 2011.

The magnitude of the fine reflects what has been presented to the court by the prosecution concerning the failure of Network Rail to manage risk arising at the level crossing, which is at a location where the line-speed at the time of the accident was 100mph (160kph). This was despite a July 2011 risk assessment making the case for a speed reduction to 85mph to better control risk  and a subsequent pre fatal accident input by a Network Rail staff member that the sline-speed should be reduced to 55mph.

Related failures of Network Rail raised by the prosecution related to vegetation limiting sighting by users of the footpath level crossing and an incorrectly placed whistle board providing an inadequate audible warning to users of this crossing.

It also emerged that the family of the victim are aggrieved that Network Rail never wrote to express its condolences. If this was the case it is understandable that the family feels that Network Rail callously failed to manage risk at the Gipsy Lane footpath crossing over many years.

The Sentencing hearing was adjourned until September 21st, 2016.