Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Indiana Utility Employee Killed at Dangerous, Non-Gated Louisville & Indiana Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Columbus, Indiana – June 3, 2020)

A 26-year-old city utilities employee driving a city-owned dump truck was killed early Wednesday afternoon at about 12:40 PM when he was struck by a Louisville & Indiana freight train. The collision occurred at the non-gated crossing of Louisville & Indiana railroad tracks and Indianapolis Road in the city of Columbus.

As was reported, Brandon S. Hendershot, became the first fatality at the grade crossing which lacked the most critical element of rail crossing safety: crossing gates. The crossing is used by five daily school buses on days when school is in session. Studies have concluded that the installation of automatic gates to a flashing light only crossing reduces the probability of collisions by up to two thirds.

The victim was airlifted to a hospital by Lifeline Helicopter Service, but passed away from his life-threatening injuries after arrival at the hospital. In a statement, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop said that Hendershot “was beloved by his family and co-workers.”

Collisions between highway vehicles and Louisville & Indiana trains at the Indianapolis Road crossing have been frequent and recent, but none were more deadly than the Wednesday tragedy. The regional Louisville & Indiana railroad, which serves Indiana and Kentucky, experienced non-injury collisions there on November 12 of last year, as well as a second non-injury accident that occurred March 13 of this year. That equals 3 incidents in less than a year, and should have been a signal for the need of more effective public safety measures.



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