A car carrying four people was destroyed after being hit by an Amtrak passenger train in Hardeeville, South Carolina (SC). Everyone in the car, including a child, was killed.
Regardless, my deepest condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones. This is a terrible tragedy.
The details surrounding this accident are still unclear. We have to wait and see what the police investigation reveals.
Car-train accidents usually end horribly. The disparity in weight, crash resistance, and power between the two transportation devices is so vast that the car regularly gets demolished.
Amtrak has been involved in a number of tragic train accidents this year. In March, an Amtrak train hit a semi truck in Gainesville, Florida (FL) seriously injuring the driver of the truck. In July, an Amtrak train hit a car carrying five teenagers. All of them died as a result.
Here are additional Amtrak accident statistics in 2009 alone (from the Federal Railroad Administration of Safety Analysis):
- 78 fatalities and 719 nonfatal accidents;
- 17 derailments and 17 accidents
- 245 non-fatal employee accidents
- 47 fatal trespasser incidents
The railroad claims representative and investigators always blame the motorist. The local police usually defer to the railroad about all issues because they do not have the experience to analyze the black box data recorder to confirm the train's speed or whether the whistle was blown as required. The only way to get justice for folks killed at crossings is typically to hire an experienced railroad injury attorney.