Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Amtrak Strikes Dump Truck Stuck On Tracks By Stop Light

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Vacaville, California – August 1, 2011)

The driver of a dump truck hauling a large dump trailer was among two people injured in a collision at the Canon Road grade crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Vacaville, CA just after 8:30 A.M. Monday morning.

The second injury was suffered by the engineer of the Amtrak train that hit the truck as it waited for a traffic light to allow it to enter Vanden Road, a main thoroughfare that closely parallels UPRR tracks which carry numerous Amtrak passenger trains as well as Union Pacific freight trains each day. While neither individual was hospitalized, the accident pointed out the extremely poor design of the crossing itself.

Canon Road terminates just beyond the railroad tracks, with a traffic light controlling access to Vanden Road, and an approach to the highway barely long enough for an automobile, let alone a truck/trailer rig as was involved in the accident, exists. The dump truck’s dump trailer was still in harm’s way on the tracks as the train, travelling from Seattle with a final destination of Los Angeles, came along. Mark Manley, the driver of the truck, told authorities that he unaware his trailer had not cleared the railroad tracks and that he did not hear the train approaching until the collision occurred.

Manley said that when he stopped at the intersection, the crossing arms were up and no train was in sight. “I was looking both ways and when I pulled up (to the stop light) someone was honking. When I looked back in my mirror, I saw the crossing arm come down behind me, and I looked to the right and I saw the train coming,” he recalled. Regardless of the situation, Amtrak Spokesperson Vernae Graham not only claimed that the truck pulled out in front of the train, but also pointed out that there are gates and lights at that crossing.


Railroad News


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8