Railroad crossing deaths in 2013, an analysis by the Des Moines Register

According to the Des Moines Register Special Report published on July 27, Iowa averages 57 accidents, 4.5 deaths, and 21 injuries at railroad crossings annually. The number of deaths for 2013 has already reached six, the highest since 2007. Accident data in Iowa show that since 1975 the leading cause of train accidents can be attributed to cars or pedestrians failing to stop at the crossings.

Railroad crossing accidents increased in 1981, with the Federal Railroad Administration noting that crashes amounted to 9,400 and deaths totalling 728.

According to the article, one factor for explaining why railroad accidents happen is the fact that only one-quarter of Iowa’s 4,320 railroad crossings are gate-controlled, and only 19 percent have warning lights.

Sadly, train accidents and improperly marked crossings cause devastating injuries for many Des Moines residents. Call a lawyer from LaMarca Law Group, P.C., at (515) 225-2600 to find out how you may be able to seek justice and compensation in such a situation.

Train hits car in Boone County

A Boone County local was driving with his son when their vehicle collided with a train in Ogden, leaving the father hospitalized. Luckily, the son was able to escape from the accident unharmed.

Forty-six-year-old Jeffrey Thrane was on his way to drop off his 17-year-old son Colton to school two weeks ago when a westbound train at the G Avenue crossing struck their car.

According to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, a train can appear out of nowhere as a motorist is crossing the railway, a scenario that likely happened with Thrane and his son.

Thrane was trapped in the vehicle and reportedly flown to a Des Moines hospital after being rescued. His son was able to get out of the car before he sustained injuries. Deputy Dan Ruter of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said that Thrane was freed from the vehicle via mechanical means.

It is the responsibility of both train companies and municipal agencies to ensure that train crossings are easily noticeable and drivers can readily tell when a train is coming. Should this duty be neglected and cause a person harm, our attorneys at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., may be able to help. Call (515) 225-2600 to discuss the accident that caused you harm and find out how we can help.


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