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Fireball Train Wreck on Highway 54

Posted on July 12th, 2012

After finding that the train tracks and signals are working correctly, experts suspect human error to be the culprit in the train wreck that happened just east of Goodwell, Oklahoma.

Three people have been confirmed dead from the wreck. Two engineers and a conductor were killed when the train collided head on with another train on Sunday morning. One conductor survived the wreck by jumping from the train.

Highway 54 was closed due to the havoc. The Guymon airport diverted all air traffic to Liberal, Kansas. In addition, a close mobile home park was evacuated.

The crash quickly turned into a diesel fueled fireball. Gil Carmichael, former Federal Railroad Administration official, noted that it is “very unusual” for an accident like this to happen on such a flat landscape with a long visual range. He believes one of the crew members made an error.

Investigators are trying to determine what happened as well as why one of the trains failed to pull onto a side track when the other train approached on the main line. Although no cell phones were found in the wreckage, the National Transportation Safety Board will check the phone records for any distracted driving.

A preliminary report may be released within two weeks, but the entire investigation could take up to a year.

People in Kansas are still killed by trains. Train wrecks usually cause fatalities or serious injuries when they collide with cars. Often times these collisions are caused by train companies that fail to maintain rail road crossings. Drivers cannot see the oncoming train and the crossing signs and lights don’t give a proper warning. If you or a loved one has been injured by a train in Kansas the you need a train injury lawyer. Call us today at 316-269-1414. The initial consultation is free and if we take your case there is no fee unless we recover.

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Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.