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Massachusetts Train Accident Blamed on Gridlock

Early on a Friday morning, bystanders witnessed a catastrophic crash between an eastbound commuter rail train and a local family in a car in Belmont.  The gates had come down and the red lights were flashing, but the car was still trapped on the train tracks, according to the Boston Globe.

trainThis serious car accident involving a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail train occurred in Belmont, a suburb of Boston situated in Middlesex County. The car was driven by a woman, who was transporting three boys, ages 6, 10 and 11.As other drivers honked their horns and pedestrians were screaming in anticipation of the crash, the two boys managed to get out of the vehicle and run to safety.  Thee 6-year-old could not get out of the car and the driver, who had managed to get herself out in time, was trying to free the boy from the car seat and pull him to safety.  Unfortunately, the driver did not have time to pull the child out of the car before the rear of the vehicle was hit by the commuter rail locomotive.

When the train collided with the car, it spun around several times and slammed into the female driver who was standing near the rear passenger door where the small child was.  Somehow, the child was not harmed in the car crash, but the driver suffered a severe personal injury.  She was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and the children were taken there as well, but that was just for observation.  While her injuries are known to be serious, her exact condition is unknown.

While there has been no formal finding of liability on the part of any person or organization involved in this Massachusetts car accident, it is believed that she was essentially trapped in the at-grade crossing due to traffic that created gridlock.  The train was authorized to travel at 75 miles-per-hour through that crossing, but the exact speed at the time of the crash is unknown as witnesses said the train operator managed to slow down a great deal before colliding with the car.

As our Boston crash lawyers can explain, in certain accidents, the defense will try to argue that the accident was at least partially the fault of the victim.  The reason they will employ such a defense is because in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, if they can show that the plaintiff was more than 50 percent responsible for an accident, they may be able to prevent the plaintiff from recovery.  However, this may be difficult to establish, and an experienced car accident lawyer will help you answer what is known as an affirmative defense.

In cases involving a crash with the commuter train, while it is true that it could be caused by defective sensors or gates, or the improper actions of a train engineer, it could also be argued that the driver should not have entered a railroad crossing unless there was enough room on the other side to get all the way through.

If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Car that was struck by train was said to have been hemmed in by traffic, December 9, 2016, By Evan Allen and Olivia Quintana

More Blog Entries:

Boy Survives Internal Decapitation in Car Accident, June 21, 2016, Boston Accident Lawyer Blog