Separate train collisions Tuesday morning in Washington State left two people dead, according to BNSF Railway.
The first incident occurred at 5:50 a.m. in the King Street Tunnel in Seattle. According to BNSF, an “elderly man waved his arms and then buckled down” in front of the train. The freight train was going about 20 mph when it hit the man. It sounded its horn and applied the emergency brake, BNSF said.
The second fatality occurred just minutes later in Snohomish County. A freight train going 40 mph struck a person who was on the rails. That train crew also applied its emergency brake. The person was thrown into a nearby body of water, where it was recovered by the Monroe Police Department.
The pair of fatalities were the first two reported in Washington State this year. In 2017, 23 people were struck and killed by trains in the state. BNSF said the 23 deaths were the second highest in the past 25 years.
Railroad Crossing Safety Tips
Here are seven safety tips for driving at railroad crossings:
- Never drive around lowered gates: If the gates are down, stop. Wait until the gates are raised and the lights have stopped flashing to proceed.
- Don’t stop while crossing if the flashing lights or gates start down: The warning signals allow enough time to finish crossing before the train arrives.
- Get out if your vehicle stalls: Trains cannot stop quickly. A train moving at 55 mph can take a mile or more to stop. Quickly move away from the tracks in the direction the train is approaching.
- Don’t let traffic trap you on tracks: Do not proceed across the tracks unless you are certain you can clear them safely. Another thing to consider: when approaching crossing gates, stop the front end of your vehicle before the marked line. If lines are not present, stop far enough back so if a vehicle from behind bumps you, your car will still be clear of the crossing.
- Be extra alert at night or in bad weather: Never overdrive your headlights. Otherwise, a train could come into view when you’re going too fast and are too close to stop.
- Never drive distracted: Turn off all electronics when you’re near train tracks.
- Expect a train on any track at any time: Wait until the lights stop flashing, since there could be a train approaching on a second track.
Railroad Accident Attorneys In Washington State
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a railroad-related accident, contact the attorneys at Davis Law Group, P.S., today. Our experienced legal team can help you get the compensation you deserve.
For a free case evaluation, call (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the form on this page to get started.