A Waterloo man is suing Union Pacific railroad after approaching a double-track railroad crossing while one train was traveling north and the other south.
He stopped for the first train but didn’t see the second one according to his father.
The lawsuit states some specifics about the railroad grade crossing that could have made this particularly crossing dangerous:
- about 40 trains were traveling through the crossing each day traveling up to 70 miles per hour.
- The “uncontrolled” crossing had no gates or arms that went down or signal lights that warned drivers of approaching trains.
- The crossing was significantly elevated above the surrounding terrain, and the road leading to it had a steep uphill grade
- The grade made it difficult for people traveling west to see approaching southbound trains.
- Union Pacific land northeast of the crossing had overgrown vegetation that obstructed the line of sight to southbound trains.
All of these factors combined can be a recipe for disaster.
This railroad grade crossing accident may have been avoidable if it had warning gates and flashing lights, keeping both the driver and railroad engineer safe.