Dozens of people were injured, some critically, when a Metrolink train slammed into a tractor trailer and derailed at a railroad crossing in Oxnard on Tuesday just before 6 a.m.
Reports have indicated that the train was traveling 79 miles per hour when the engineer saw the truck on the tracks and applied the emergency brakes, but the train could not stop in time and the collision caused four cars to derail.
At least 28 people were taken to the hospital for treatment following the derailment, including four who were critically injured. The Metrolink engineer was the most severely injured, a Ventura County hospital spokesperson said.
The accident occurred at the Rice Avenue crossing, which sees a steady stream of tractor trailers and farm trucks from nearby warehouses and farms, Reuters reported.
A Metrolink spokesman told the Los Angeles Times that as far as they could tell, "everything at the crossing including the gate arms and emergency notifications and bells were working properly."
However, the Times also reported that two residents from the area said the safety arms at the crossing do not lower when a train is coming.
Another person who works down the street from where the accident occurred called the crossing "dangerous" and said that the lights do not come on fast enough when a train is coming. "It is not safe," he told Reuters.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident and will undoubtedly look into whether the appropriate safety features at the crossing were functioning properly.
If it turns out that the crossing was dangerous, Metrolink and potentially other parties could face major liability in personal injury claims filed by those who were injured in the derailment. The victims could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Our attorneys have represented numerous victims of catastrophic accidents. We have an office in Westlake Village as well as Oxnard, and we gladly come to accident victims who are too injured to come to us.
We always help our clients pursue the maximum possible compensation from all responsible parties.