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Illinois train accident kills couple, bridge collapses

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Train Accidents on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

A tragic freak accident has taken the lives of a lawyer and his wife in Illinois. When most people think of a train accident, they normally think of someone crossing the tracks or somehow getting stranded and struck by a train. However, in this case, the accident that occurred was so surreal, it seems like it was taken out of a movie plot.

The couple were out celebrating the Fourth of July when a railroad bridge above them collapsed. Train cars and coal spilled over the bridge, crashing onto the couple’s vehicle. Twenty-eight rail cars were sitting on the bridge when the weight caused it to collapse. Although officials initially stated there were no injuries, a day later workers uncovered a debris-laden Lexus during clean-up and discovered the couple inside.

The couple’s family had no suspicions they were involved in the accident, especially when authorities had stated there were no injuries. One of the man’s friends started to worry because the accident was near the couple’s home, so he contacted the man by cellphone and left a voicemail message. Two hours after leaving the message, he received the tragic news: his friend and his friend’s wife had perished in the wreckage.

Authorities believe the extreme heat in Illinois may have caused one of the rails to expand, potentially causing the train accident. Each one of the cars that toppled off of the bridge weighed up to 85 tons. The family is now pursuing legal action against Union Pacific in the form of wrongful death suit, accusing Union Pacific of negligence. They are seeking a minimum of $150,000 in damages. Accidents like this can be hard to fathom, but fortunately families of victims have legal options available to them when something tragic like this happens and the evidence suggests negligence by others.

Source: THonline.com, “Lawyer, wife killed in train derailment,” July 8, 2012

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