A Georgia teen and his family have filed suit against train company CSX and the operators that were running a train that hit the teen. The teen was struck in March while walking along the train tracks. He spent four months in an intensive care unit and both of his legs were amputated below the knee as a result. At the time of the filing, the teen had already racked up more than $200,000 in medical costs, which he argues the train operators are liable for.
The lawsuit claims that the CSX train did not have a properly functioning front-facing camera, meaning that the engineer and conductor were unable to see him on the tracks in time to avoid hitting him. The lawsuit also argues that CSX failed to put up fencing or other warning devices to prevent pedestrians from approaching the tracks.
The teen was at least 1,000 feet away from the train when the conductor and engineer spotted him, but the employees did not ring the train’s bell, blow the horn or apply the emergency brake. After hitting the teen, the train took half a mile to come to a complete stop.
Train Safety for Pedestrians in Georgia
Georgia has one of the most extensive freight rail systems in the country with approximately 5,000 miles of track transporting more than 196 million tons of freight. You should expect to encounter a train any time you approach tracks, because freight trains have no set schedule and passenger train schedules vary. Trains can extend three feet or more from the side of the steel rail, meaning the safety zone for pedestrians is much wider than the rails themselves.
Trains cannot stop quickly. A 100-car freight train moving 55 mph needs a mile’s worth of track to stop. These rails are a serious danger to pedestrians. If you must walk near tracks, cross only at designated crossings, keep your distance and stay alert for warnings of approaching trains.