Burlington, Iowa - You've got three teenage passengers and one young and dumb driver. They are driving without headlights and approaching the railroad tracks where a BNSF Railway locomotive is quickly approaching. A police officer sees them, turns on her overhead patrol lights, the crossing arm activates and comes down, the driver jumps out and runs pell-mell right in front of the oncoming train. To complete his daring escape he does a hop, skip and jump to safety while successfully eluding the police officer. The driver forgot one thing though, to put the car in park. The only thing stopping it from rolling onto the tracks was the officer blocking its path with the City of Burlington cruiser. Badda bing, we gotta crash. Take a guess at whether or not alcohol was involved.

I've got an interesting story from past personal injury case. It involves a railroad violating the law and a bunch of pretty young teenage girls tired of waiting for the train to move from blocking the intersection. A train in east Des Moines blocks the tracks for a long time. Back then by law the railroad could block an intersection for no more than 20 minutes. This one is going on 40 minutes and some teenagers needing to get home to study finally tire of waiting and begin to jump across the tongue that couples one car to the other. Just as the pretty young gymnast gets half way over the tongue the train begins to move.

If you've ever watched trains move you'll know it's not a smooth transition when the cars begin to move forward. There is a back and forth jerking motion that takes place. So as she is just half way over the tongue, the jerking motion causes her to lose her balance. The loss of control allows her foot to slip and it falls in between the open coupling. You guessed it she losses half her foot.

If trains are anything they are unforgiving. And you guessed it the railroad paid damages to the young girl. Hopefully she went to college on the money we got for her.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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