Semi-Truck Drives Through Warning Gate and Straight Into Train

An accident between a semi-truck and a train in rural Hendry County in central Florida occurred early on a recent Monday morning and resulted not only in the death of the truck driver but also in the closure of a major road in both directions. According to a report from a local media outlet, the crash occurred outside Clewiston in Hendry County, which is in the middle of the state between Fort Myers and West Palm Beach, at the intersection of US 27 and Flagler Streets. The truck driver drove straight through the warning gates even though they were down and the train was already proceeding through the intersection. Given the train was already pulling through the intersection, the semi-truck struck the side of the train and then burst into flames. The impact caused the train, which was pulling 46 empty cars, to derail. The semi-truck driver was pronounced dead on the scene, while no one onboard the train was injured. The burning semi blocked US 27 in both directions. The crash remains under investigation but may have occurred due to foggy conditions in the area at the time according to another news report.

The Catastrophic Nature of Train Accidents in Florida

Train accidents can be absolutely catastrophic and often involve serious injuries or fatalities. Trains are extremely large and heavy, travel at high speeds and therefore can cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities in a crash. This is particularly true when the crash involves a pedestrian or someone who is not in a vehicle. However, even when a semi-truck or car is involved, which at least offers some protection against the destructive force of a train, victims of a railroad accident often still suffer horrific injuries or death. For those lucky enough to survive, the devastating injuries from a railroad crash can often result in life-altering conditions that radically change the victim and the victim’s family forever. In addition to the physical pain and emotional suffering, Florida railroad accident victims and their families face enormous medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, funeral costs, and other economic losses.

The Increasing Frequency of Train Accidents in South Florida

South Florida has had more than its fair share of fatalities due to train accidents, particularly since the inception of the Brightline high speed rail service began in 2017. While most of these were pedestrians who were either wandering on the tracks or else crossed tracks when a warning gate was down like in this recent accident discussed above, the sheer number of accidents that have occurred is a sign of how dangerous trains can be. Given that the Brightline trains can reach speeds up to 110 mph and South Florida has one of the most densely populated railroad corridors in the country, this can be a deadly mix. This may become an even bigger problem as Brightlline eventually completes construction on the portions of its network that will run all the way from Miami to Orlando and eventually on to Tampa.

Contact Schwed, Adams and McGinley, P.A.

At Schwed, Adams and McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 200 years of experience representing individuals who have been injured in railroad accidents that resulted in wrongful death or catastrophic injuries. Trains travel at high speeds and are therefore extremely difficult to stop quickly, particularly if railroad employees are not paying attention as closely as they should. When an accident involving a train occurs, it often results in serious injuries or death for those involved. If you or a loved one have been injured in a train accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams and McGinley, P.A. today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com to schedule a free consultation regarding your situation.