Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Louisiana Trash Truck Driver Killed at Dangerous, Unguarded Kansas City Southern Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Gonzales, Louisiana – August 24, 2018)

Barely a year since the most recent train/highway vehicle collision at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of East Ascension Avenue and Kansas City Southern rails, another truck/train crash has taken the life of an Innovative Waste Systems trash truck operator.

This time Friday’s KCS train was allegedly traveling at 47 mph upon impact with the truck that claimed the life of Baker, LA resident Willie Hall at 8:19 A.M., CDT.  This was actually the fourth train collision to occur at the road/rail intersection that lacks any form of protective warning devices.  On a daily basis, an average of a half dozen KCS freight trains traverse the Ascension crossing on a daily basis at a maximum allowable speed of 49 mph,

Gonzales Police Lt. Steven Nethken pointed out to Baton Rouge Advocate Reporters David Mitchell and Ellyn Couvillion that “The railroad crossing where the crash happened has neither flashing lights nor crossing gates that lower to block traffic from going over the tracks when a train is nearby,” and that the victim “apparently did not see the train.”

It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision and the three before it would not have happened. Both Kansas City Southern and Operation Lifesaver all know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.



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