Six people died and 12 were injured when a packed New York commuter train slammed into a Jeep Cherokee that was stuck on the tracks near White Plains, NY during rush hour yesterday.
According to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, five people were killed on the train, and the driver of the SUV also died.
The crash was the deadliest ever for Metro North, which is the second biggest commuter railroad in the US.
The media reported that the SUV driver got out of her vehicle and tried to push it off the tracks, and then got back into the vehicle before it was hit. It is not clear why the SUV was stalled on the tracks.
We are greatly saddened to see the loss of life in this train crossing crash in New York. As personal injury lawyers who often work on train crash cases, we have seen far too many deaths and serious injuries at railroad crossings. In 2008, there were 637 train related deaths in the US, and many of them occurred at railroad crossings.
All of us need to remember at railroad crossings that it is hard for a train to stop in less than a mile. Remember that trains do not always run on firm schedules, and there is never a safe time to be on railroad tracks.
Also, if your vehicle ever stalls on railroad tracks, get away from the vehicle! A car or SUV is replaceable – a human life is not.