(July 12, 2012)
Independence Day started just like every other year, but for one couple, it abruptly ended in death. The couple was driving near their house when they came across a railroad bridge, and that was the last anybody saw them.
In an unfortunate chain of events, the bridge collapsed as a result of the train carrying 28 train cars. The couple’s bodies were found the following morning under all the debris, and now their family is filing a negligence lawsuit against Union Pacific, claiming that they failed to properly maintain and inspect its railroad tracks.
Lawyers for the family needed their expert’s time to investigate the scene, so they filed a court order for a 36-hour work stoppage. They do not believe that the railroad’s claim that the heat wave is responsible for derailment and bridge collapse has any merit. A heat wave should not be an excuse for a train to derail. The road traffic will take longer to return to normal, as it will remain closed at the derailment site for two months so that Union Pacific can have ample time to build a new, permanent bridge.
Officials from Union Pacific state that a train carrying coal from Wyoming to Milwaukee hit a kink in the tracks around 1:45 pm Wednesday, which caused the derailment. This excess weight led to the collapse of the bridge, which ultimately took this couple’s life.
It was first believed that no one was injured in the accident. However, workers on the cleanup discovered a bumper, which subsequently lead to finding the deceased couple’s bodies.
The lawyers for the family contend that there was a report of an earlier derailment in November 2009, so Union Pacific’s claim that excessive heat was responsible is likely far-fetched.
Feel free to contact one of our Gacovino Lake & Associates attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).