A recent train accident left a 23-year old Oklahoma University student dead. The initial investigation into the train accident indicated that the victim was walking westbound before being struck by the train at the train crossing. Authorities are continuing to investigate the train accident but noted that it may have been accidental.
Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 6 train accidents involving pedestrians in the greater Oklahoma City area some of which have been accidents. Some areas have recently been improved for train safety, including improved railroad crossing signals and gates. The improved railroad crossing signals and gates were in accordance with federal Quiet Zone regulations and are planned throughout the community neighboring Oklahoma City where the most recent train accident fatality occurred.
It was previously reported that officials in the neighboring community noted that train whistles may cease blowing as early as the summer of 2016 and that train horns will only be sounded if train engineers detect some hazard on the tracks, including a person or vehicle. In addition to improvements in keeping with Quiet Zone railroad regulations such as quad gates at some railroad crossings, the addition of raised medians is also planned to increase safety. Fencing in highly pedestrian trafficked areas has also been suggested.
Train accidents can be complex and require a thorough investigation. Even though a situation may be considered an accident, negligence may also be involved and a failure to properly protect pedestrians may lead to liability and provide for damages recovery for victims, and their families, harmed by train accidents.
Source: The Norman Transcript, “Train fatality victim was ID’d as an OU student,” Jessica Bruha, Jan. 7, 2016