Two CSX employees, a conductor and a railroad engineer, were injured when a train derailed along General Thomas Highway in Southampton County, Virginia (VA). In addition to the injuries, the train derailment resulted in a fire after a CSX train engine crashed to its side and a fuel tank was punctured. The image below is directly from the scene of the accident:
One of the two injured employees had to be taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital because of a loss of consciousness and back pain, according to the Virginian Pilot. The other employee was taken to Southampton Memorial Hospital with injuries.
How did this train accident begin? Well, two CSX locomotives were reportedly pulling 35 cars with mixed freight from Portsmouth, VA headed to Rocky Mount, North Carolina (NC) when both locomotives and nine cars went off the tracks. The derailment occurred near the Ashland chemical plant and it happened around 2:30 in the morning.
Here is a video of a news report discussing this terrible CSX train derailment:
The exact cause of the derailment remains a mystery. What we do know is that two employees have had their lives turned upside down and could be seriously injured. It is clear that a careful investigation will be required into the circumstances of this derailment involving a switch. Railroad operating rules and regulations govern the way a crew on a train responds and handles any switch, and they are also required to be aligned in certain directions by any prior crew handling the switch. CSX railroad has a railroad timetable which sets forth basic instructions on how locomotive crews operate on any of its tracks, including the tracks near Franklin, VA. This will likely be part of the Federal Railroad Administration and CSX investigation.
Unfortunately, when a train derails, havoc usually ensues. The damage is extensive and the risk of serious, life-altering injuries, or even death, is high. Our railroad injury law firm has experience in these types of derailments. For example, we previously represented CSX crew members in another CSX train derailment where two CSX trains collided head-on near Franklin, VA. The derailment was primarily due to a radio dispatching error from the CSX dispatch center. After an extensive analysis by the firm, our team of railroad investigators, and railroad liability experts that we retained for our clients, we proved that federal regulations were violated by the radio dispatcher working for CSX railroad and secured a favorable outcome for our clients.
In addition, our personal injury law firm represented a gas station worker who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a Norfolk Southern train derailed and crashed into his store. Our client’s life was changed forever requiring a lifetime of in-home care due to his brain injury (fortunately, we secured a record-setting $60 million jury verdict for him).