Though trains can be an efficient way to travel, they pose significant hazards to drivers when motor vehicles must cross their tracks. All throughout Minnesota individuals must go over railroads to get to their jobs, homes, and schools. While most people make it through rail-road intersections without incident, not all individuals are so lucky.

Just recently, a terrible tragedy occurred when a family’s van was hit by an Amtrak train. The family of six was driving to church when their van was struck by a moving train. The impact of the collision caused the deaths of the parents and three young girls; a fourth female child was injured in the train accident but is expected to survive.

Authorities are still trying to determine how this tragic event happened, though it appears that the intersection where the crash occurred did not have crossing arms in place to warn the driver of the van that a train was approaching. An investigation into the matter is ongoing.

The speed and size of a train can make it a very difficult thing to avoid for a driver if that driver does not have enough warning to stay out of the train’s path. Signal lights, warning signs, and other devices can and often should be used to give drivers adequate warning that they are approaching train tracks so that they may be aware of the potential dangers they are about to face.

In the way of this terrible incident a young child is left without her mother, father, and sisters. As more information is learned about this vehicle-train crash authorities may be able to determine why it occurred and if liability should be assigned to the operators of the train and railroad.

Source: kdvr.com, “4-year-old survives crash with Amtrak that killed parents, sisters,” Keagan Harsha, June 27, 2016