A pregnant mother, Heather Sheree Balven, from the St. Louis area (Hartford) was killed when a train struck the pickup truck she was driving. Well liked her fellow workers, she was a geotechnical engineer who was working at the time of the collision. She did soil testing at a pipeline construction site. She was 31-years old and had a two-year-old toddler at home. She was noted to be familiar with this railroad crossing.
There have be a few fathers and mothers out there with questions about what would happen to the children. In Iowa, which is probably different than Missouri, the husband and child would be paid workers’ compensation benefits. The husband would receive benefits for life, the children for their minority and if they attended college, for four more years. The husband would also check in with the Social Security Administration, his local SSA office, and apply for death benefits, which may or may not apply.
The husband of course should see a lawyer in the St. Louis area who is familiar with train crossing litigation to evaluate the site-distances and other potential issues.
Why do these collisions occur? Well there are many reasons including poor judgment being exercised by the car or truck drivers. Some people are just impatient and ignore the cross bucks. Here is an example that this reporting team caught on film.
In many of these instances the driver ends up a statistic.
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