Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Tagged with train accident NY

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CSX trains can cause dangerous accidentsAs train accident attorneys, it is concerning to see the devastation that can be caused by train-related incidents. The recent brush fires in Rockland County, New York have caused widespread damage and displaced hundreds of people. Officials are pointing fingers at CSX, the railroad company whose train tracks allegedly sparked the flames, and are demanding an investigation into the matter.

According to reports, around two dozen brush fires broke out along a CSX rail line on Friday afternoon, threatening homes and consuming 50-70 acres of land. The intense flames melted the siding on four homes, destroyed two sheds and other property, including fences and vehicles. Upwards of 100 people had to evacuate. Five firefighters suffered heat exhaustion, and one sustained a minor burn.

While it is still unclear what exactly caused the fire, preliminary reports suggest that sparks from a CSX train may have started the fire, which then spread to nearby fields, including a bird sanctuary. Officials are pointing towards negligence on the part of CSX and are calling for a meeting with the railroad company.

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location-of-the-accidentThankfully nobody was injured in a train accident during which a Port Jervis Metro North train sliced through a tractor trailer stuck on the railroad tracks in Sloatsburg, NY, on Tuesday night.

The accident occurred around 6:15 pm. An overweight tractor trailer truck transporting a cargo of  HP laser printers and illegally driving on a roadway got stuck on the railroad tracks at the grade crossing of Washington Avenue in Sloatsburg. Two witnesses in their car saw the truck driver in trouble and stopped to help him. They tried to convince him to get out of the truck cabin but the driver stayed in the cabin. One of them told the media that the driver seemed frozen. As they were talking to the truck driver the gates started to move down. One of the witness explained that he decided not to force the driver out as the cabin of the truck was not on the tracks and he thought he would be safe where he was.

The train was coming out of a curve after stopping at the Sloatsburg station. The train operator didn’t see the truck from far enough to brake on time and the train just sliced through the trailer. One of the witnesses captured the accident on camera. (see Youtube video below)

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LIRR train Accident NY3 people died and 7 were injured after a vehicle collided with two trains travelling in opposite directionsa in Long Island, NY.

The train accident occurred Tuesday night during rush hour at a railroad crossing near the Long Island Rail Road Westbury Station in Nassau County, NY. As the gates were down and the lights were flashing, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident was witnessed driving around the gates to cross the railroad tracks. As he was in the middle of the railroad crossing, the vehicle was struck by a train that had just left the Westbury station and was heading East. The vehicle was then hit a second time by another train arriving at full speed in the opposite direction. The impact caused the two first cars of the westbound train to derail while the last car of the eastbound train struck a platform and partially destroyed it. The 3 occupants of the vehicle all died in the accident. So far the vehicle was so mangled that it was difficult to identify who were the victims and what type of vehicle it was. After further investigation the police found that the victims were 3 workers of a grocery store located a block away from the crossing: dairy manager Jesus Hernandez, and meat department workers Saul Martinez and Miguel Luna. According to a witness the men travelling in a maroon SUV might have been involved in a fender bender moments earlier and were trying to  flee the scene of the accident.

7 other people who were travelling on the westbound train were also injured. They were transported to the hospital to be treated for non fatal injuries. Around 1000 people had to be evacuated from both trains and heavy delays were expected as crews had to work on two train derailments and assess damages to the tracks and to the platform.

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LIRR TrainPositive Train Control (PTC) could have prevented the Metro-North derailment that killed 4 people in the Bronx in December 2013 as well as several other fatal train accidents that occurred in recent years.

In 2008 after 25 people were killed in a crash between a commuter train and a freight train, the U.S. Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 was passed requiring that all railroads have PTC in place and employees trained to use it by December 31st 2018.  PTC requires that radio transponders be installed on tracks and on trains. The transponders communicate to each others and automatically slow down a train if it is going to fast or stop it if it is about to hit another train.

According to a recent federal report, two-thirds of the commuter railroads in the US might miss the deadline. The Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road are among them. Therefore to avoid a fine, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is considering submitting a letter to The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)asking the agency to lower its standards while deciding if the progress made by the LIRR and the Metro-North in installing PTC meet federal requirements. The letter proposal follows the recent introduction by the FRA to allow railroads to propose their own criteria for becoming compliant. The proposal also comes after the MTA acknowledged that the PTC system installed so far failed in several test simulations.

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LIRR_TrainA woman died after her car that crashed onto the Long Island Rails Road tracks was hit by a train. The high winds may have pushed the car onto the tracks according to the preliminary investigation.

29 year old Elizabeth Gallager lost control of her car near the Port Jefferson branch of the Long Island Rail Road in East Northport. She crashed down an embankment onto the tracks. A train plowed into the car around 2:10 am. The service was suspended for 5 hours. Investigators are not sure if the young woman died when the car hit the tracks or after the train hit the car.

Gallager who is a teacher had a second job at a restaurant. She was driving home in a powerful storm that pummeled Tri-State Area when the accident occured. She’s among the 9 victims who died in the NorthEast Winter storm.

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New York Train Accident Lawyer Richard SteigmanOur partner Richard Steigman recently told the Lohud that he was disappointed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conclusions on the train accident that occurred more than two years ago in Valhalla, NY. 6 people were killed and many more were injured after a Metro-North Train crashed into a SUV that was stuck on the tracks. The NTSB blamed Ellen Brody, the driver of the SUV, for the accident. Steigman who represents several victims of the crash, was attending a recent conference related to discovery in Westchester County Court. During the short conference, plaintiffs argued that Metro-North was withholding relevant information.

Steigman told the Lohud “he was disappointed in the NTSB for not taking into account the actions of train engineer Stephen Smalls. Smalls, who has his own lawsuit, could have stopped or slowed the train down when he saw Brody’s car on the tracks.” “There’s another narrative here,” he said. “At the end of the day, it will go before a trier of fact, for a jury to determine (who was at fault).”

NY train accident attorney Richard Steigman represents:

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A train operator was injured in a train accident this morning in West Hempstead, Long Island, NY. A Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train struck a car on a crossing early this morning. The train operator suffered injury. None of the train passengers were injured. The accident happened this morning around 8:00 am not far from the LIRR West Hempstead Station. The service was temporarily  suspended in both directions. Investigators will have to determine why the car was on the crossing.

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LIRR_Train33 people suffered personal injury in a train crash in Long Island, NY on Saturday night. A Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train carrying 600 passengers sideswiped a maintenance train and derailed just East of the New Hide Park station in Nassau County. The accident occurred around 9:00 pm. The Huntington Bound passenger train was coming from New York City. After the crash, scared passengers were trapped in the dark for up to an hour until they could be rescued. Among the people injured, 27 were passengers and 7 were workers. The New York Times reported 4 serious injuries.

In a press conference, NY Governor Cuomo told reporters that the accident could have been worse. He also said that the maintenance train violated clearance and intruded into the space of the commuter train. The passenger train sideswiped the maintenance train causing some cars to derail. Yellow paint from the maintenance train was found on the passenger train where the side swipe occurred.

Further investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board  will determine why the maintenance train violated clearance. Regulations related to operation of work equipment are different than regulations related to operation of passenger trains. According to Union sources the maintenance train was operated by a non union LIRR employee.

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train accident fireAlmost a year ago 6 people died and 15 others were injured (including seven severely)  in a Metro-North train accident  between the Valhalla and Mount Pleasant stations in New York.  The Valhalla railroad accident that happened on the evening of February 3rd 2015 was the deadliest in Metro-North history.

Ellen Brody, a mother of three was driving her SUV through the Commerce Street rail crossing in Valhalla. The vehicle got stuck inside the crossing gate when it descended. The approaching Metro-North train engineer spotted her too late and crashed into her vehicle. She was killed in the accident along with 5 other train passengers who were sitting in the lead car of the train. An alleged defective third rail became dislodged and entered the first car of the train. Investigators believe the fuel from the car combined with the sparks of the dislodged third rail ignited the fire that ravaged car 4333 (see picture from the National Transportation Safety Board Investigation on the left).

Our partner, NY train accident attorney Howard Hershenhorn is representing the wife of one of the victims. Last week he filed a negligence lawsuit against Metro-North and its engineer Steven Smalls Jr. as well as the town of Mount Pleasant. The lawsuit lists multiple reasons for the defendants alleged negligence. Among them: