While reality might say a train comes out on top of a collision with a truck, it does not necessarily take into account the passengers sitting in their train seats without seatbelts and many times unaware that the truck crash is about to happen. What seems certain is that such an accident has disaster written all over it, and many times that is tragically the case. A collision in downtown Houston on Oct. 4 almost proved the point.
A dump truck allegedly ran a red light while heading west on Capitol Street at the intersection with Main Street at about 9:15 a.m. just as a southbound Metro train was traveling through the intersection. The collision caused the light-rail train to derail, injuring a number of train passengers. In total, 15 people, including the truck driver, were sent to area hospitals for medical treatment. The truck driver was also taken to the hospital, but he left before seeing a doctor and before receiving the citation that Houston police were attempting to serve on him.
And the accident could have been worse. Had the dump truck not hit a fire hydrant it may well have crashed through a restaurant that was serving customers. The truck driver was working for a subcontractor to haul sand for the construction of the East End light-rail line. He may now find himself at the other end of the line due to his apparent negligence.
Personal injury law in Texas provides for the right of accident victims to recover monetary damages for their and pain and suffering. As such, October 4 may have been a very expensive day for the driver, his employer and the owner of the dump truck. Those injured on the train have a right to expect that they can get around town safely without a negligent driver blowing through a red light.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Metro train and dump truck collide downtown,” Dale Lezon and Carol Christian, Oct. 4, 2011