Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Kansas Farmer Seriously Injured as Implement Destroyed by Train at Unguarded Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Newton, Kansas – July 13, 2012)

A 21-year-old Whitewater, KS man was seriously injured Friday morning when the grain swather farm implement he was operating was struck by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of BNSF tracks and Grace Hill Road in Harvey County, KS.

Jason Kornfeld apparently neither saw nor heard the train until it hit his machine, impaled it on the front of the locomotive, and dragged it 1,290 feet before stopping. At some point, the victim was thrown from the swather. The victim was still conscious when emergency help arrived, and was flown by an Eagle Med helicopter to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, KS, where he was admitted in critical, but stable, condition.

Even though 40 trains, including Amtrak, cross the BNSF/Grace Hill Road intersection daily at speeds of up to 70 mph, the crossing is protected only by a standard, passive railroad crossbuck sign, totally lacking any automatic protective systems such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates, the likes of which could have been of significant value in preventing the accident.

“This is not a controlled intersection,” noted Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton, whose agency responded to the scene as well as the Whitewater Fire Dept., Newton Fire and EMS, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Dept. and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The extremely expensive farm implement, valued at well over $100,000 new, was destroyed beyond repair.


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