Train Crash Allegedly Caused by Distracted Truck Driver

An investigation has determined that a Maine train crash, which resulted in a fatality and multiple injuries, was likely caused by a truck driver using a mobile device while driving. The July 11 collision involved a tractor-trailer truck and an Amtrak Downeaster train.

North Berwick police released a report citing "inattention/distraction by the possible use of a mobile communication device" as the cause of the crash. The report found that truck driver Peter Barnum, 35, of Farmington, N.H., "failed to stop for the working railroad crossing signals and gates."

According to the report, skid marks indicated that Barnum attempted to stop as he approached the train tracks. The 18-wheel tractor-trailer he was driving was carrying more than 50,000 pounds of trash. The truck and train collided in an intersection, resulting in a fiery crash which killed Barnum and injured four on board the Amtrak train.

One lawsuit has already been filed against Triumverate Environmental Inc, the trucking company that employed Barnum. The complaint alleges, "Barnum failed to heed the warnings… Barnum negligently operated the tractor trailer combination so as to cause it to pass in front of a train."

The plaintiffs cited evidence that the crossing protection guards were in proper working order, and that the truck was driven around the guards. The lawsuit is seeking at least $3 million in damages from the trucking company, in addition to legal and investigative fees.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed while employed as a railroad worker, you should speak with a qualified FELA lawyer. Make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today for an evaluation of your case.