A motorist suffered serious injuries in a crash with a trolley at Gillespie Field Airport, according to recent reports. The 52-year-old was driving a Ford F-150 pickup east on Billy Mitchell Drive when he apparently pulled in front of a northbound light-rail tram at the intersection with North Marshall Avenue. Witnesses state that the driver may have tried to drive around the railroad crossing arms, which were lowered at the time. The trolley driver was unable to stop the tram prior to the collision.
The victim was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
Every year, passenger vehicles are involved in collisions with trains at railroad crossings. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorist is 20 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than in a crash with another passenger vehicle. Additionally, there are more than 2,000 crashes between passenger vehicles, pedestrians and trains each year, with 232 people killed and another 972 injured in 2013, and 269 killed and 849 injured in 2014.
The number of collisions, injuries and fatalities involving railroad crossing crashes has been dropping over the past 30 years, thanks to better signals and awareness on the part of the public. In 1981, there were 9,461 collisions between passenger vehicles, pedestrians and trains; by 2014, that number had dropped to 2,287. However, there are still many people injured or killed in these crashes each year due to a variety of factors, including unclearly marked crossings or malfunctioning railroad crossing signals.
According to experts, there are several reasons a motorist might become involved in a crossing crash, even if he or she was paying attention. For one thing, the signal may not be working properly. If the arms fail to drop properly or the lights fail to go on, the motorist might not realize that a train is coming. Similarly, if there are no crossing arms, the motorist might not hear or see a train coming, especially around a curve, at a level crossing with signs.
If you have been the victim of a railroad crossing injury, contact personal injury attorney Dan Gilleon in San Diego immediately. With the experience to help you recover compensation for your injuries whenever possible, Dan Gilleon is ready to work with you to resolve your train accident case.