21 Injured in Expo Train and Vehicle Crash

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Car Drives In Front of Train and Causes Crash

Usually weekends are happy times. It’s a long awaited break after a really long work week. For this Saturday though, it wasn’t so happy for some. At least twenty-one people were injured after a Expo Line Train crashed with a vehicle. This happened near the University of Southern California according to the local authorities.

According to Shawn Lenske, who is a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, the crash was reported around 10:50 in the early afternoon in the 900 block of Exposition Boulevard.

The officials from the Metropolitan Transit Authority also stated that the driver of the Silver Hyundai Sonata had made a turn right in front of the train.

MTA Spokesman, Dilijiet Sandhu Statement:

The drivers never sees the trains. He turned. Obviously there’s a signal for the train, there’s a signal for the car. He turned in front of the train.

A local USC student, Johnny Stevens, witnessed the crash. He actually watched the whole thing from his dorm window with his roommate. They watched as the firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate the driver of the Hyundai. Two train cars derailed from the impact of the crash.

Johnny Stevens Statement:

We figured it was pretty bad because it took them a long time to get the person out of the car.

The driver of the vehicle was injured pretty badly in the crash. The last report of the condition of the driver was “extremely critical condition”.

The operator of the Expo Line Train was at first in pretty critical condition. The operator who has been identified as Kenneth Goss, is actually improving though, according to a Metro official. The official also said that Goss was at his own home on Saturday night. The fire department said that there were nineteen other people who suffered from minor injuries. At first, the Officials, thought there were two vehicles that crashed with the train. Ten of the injured people as well as the driver and Goss had to be transported to the local hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

MTA is planning on using the video that was recorded by the eastbound/eastbound light rail train as part of the investigation to hopefully determine if the warning system was working properly before the crash. They are also investigating the driver’s actions.

Jose Urbaldo who is a Metro Spokesman Statement:

There’s no way you can go crossing the street unless you make an illegal turn, because it’s supposed to be red. Now that’s what we’re investigating.

The Expo Line Service has been suspended “indefinitely” following the crash.  At first the Metro Officials had hoped to have the line reopen by eight o' clock that night. However, in a later statement, they said they had hoped to open the road again by midnight, and have the train moving by 2 o’clock the next morning.  There is a shuttle bus being offered while the train service is suspended.

Classification of Railway Accidents

Classification of railway accidents{.mw-redirect}, both in terms of cause and effect, is a valuable aid in studying rail (and other) accidents to help to prevent similar ones occurring in the future. Systematic investigation for over 150 years has led to the railways' excellent safety record (compared, for example, with road transport).

Ludwig von Stockert (1913) proposed a classification of accidents by their effects (consequences); e.g. head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, derailments. Schneider and Mase (1971) proposed an additional classification by causes; e.g. driver{.mw-redirect}‘s errors, signalmen‘s errors, mechanical faults. Similar categorisations had been made by implication in previous books e.g. Rolt (1956), but Stockert’s and Schneider/Mase’s are more systematic and complete. With minor changes, they represent best knowledge.

Train wrecks or accidents are usually pretty costly for all those involved. If a mechanical problem occurs, then of course that takes money and time to fix and the time the the train isn’t running is less money the train is making for the company. Train wrecks also sometimes involve other trains, or vehicles which also gets costly or deadly.

Since train wrecks usually cause some pretty major property damage the intentional wrecking of a train is even worse and it’s a pretty serious crime. So when a train wrecks, it’s mostly because it’s an accident.

California takes their train laws pretty seriously. The penalty for the intentional causing of a non-fatal train wreck is life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. For a fatal train wreck, of course the punishment is worse. There’s a possible sentence for life imprisonment without parole or possibly the death penalty, just depends on the case. To willfully wreck a train it is punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole by the United States Federal Government. Train incidents are pretty serous and California is pretty serious about keeping the laws strict on any kind of fake or intentional wreckage. So If you’re a train operator in California, better follow those rules or you could spend your life in jail. But if you’re out to intentionally hurt someone or multiple people then you probably deserve to “do the time” as California sees fit.

Some people say that California is “unusually harsh” about their train wrecking statute, however California has been expressly recognized by its appellate courts. The Supreme Court of California explained that train wrecking is one of only eight crimes in the California Codes that a capital sentence is authorized. I think they did a good job with it though. A train wreck not only hurts the environment, and property, but it could seriously hurt and kill numerous people. If someone is out there not paying attention or would intentionally hurt someone while operating one of these giant, machines then they should be punished.  If everyone cracked down on the laws as much as California maybe there would be less intentional wrecks. Not only in the train system but in vehicles and other transportation methods as well.

Daniel A. Gibalevich 
Law Offices of Daniel A. Gibalevich

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