Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Illinois Pedestrian Walking to Work, Killed by Union Pacific Train

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Ashton, Illinois – March 12, 2115)

A local man walking to his place of work along Union Pacific Railroad double tracks in the northern Illinois community of Ashton was hit and killed by a Union Pacific freight train headed in the same direction near Douglas Avenue at about 2:50 P.M., CDT Thursday afternoon.

Andrew Jonathan Ruiz, 22, was on his way to Crest Foods for his second shift job when the train surprised him. Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said the victim was walking east along the railroad corridor and his body was found lying beside the UPRR tracks. The Lee County Coroner’s Office said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Speculation was that he used the railroad corridor regularly in his daily commute and may have thought the train was on the opposite track, even though he was not walking directly upon the railroad tracks.

The UPRR corridor through Ashton can carry as many as 35 trains daily at a top allowable speed of 70 mph, as it cuts diagonally through the small community between Dixon and Rochelle in northern Illinois.

The primarily unfenced railroad route is almost an open invitation to pedestrians, as it borders the backyards of residences and back doors of businesses in the community.


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