Three workers were killed and a fourth suffered critical injuries when the shuttle van they were riding in was hit by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train on Wednesday afternoon at a Kelso train crossing.
Killed in the accident were two BNSF employees, Chris Loehr, 28, and Tom Kenny, 58. The shuttle van driver, Steven Sebastian, 60, who worked for Coach America, was also killed in the train accident.
The injured man is Dwight Hauck, 52, who is described as a veteran conductor. The Columbian reports that he is in critical condition at Oregon Health Science University.
The train accident occurred around 4:30pm. The van was ferrying the men to a motel after their shift and was hit as it crossed a set of tracks. The crossing where the van was hit was a private one and was marked with an X-shaped warning sign but there were no barrier crossings.
The Federal Railroad Administration reported that that there were 1,650 accidents/incidents on BNSF tracks in 2010 resulting in 134 fatalities and 1,014 injuries. 80 fatalities involved railroad crossing accidents.
BNSF officials are investigating this tragic accident. In the course of their investigation they will determine whether the crossing had an inadequate warning sign or if other factors contributed to the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a train accident or a railroad cross accident then contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 to obtain a free consultation from a train accident attorney on your case.
Engineer injured in Tacoma freight train accident
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