Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Louisiana Truck Driver Injured by Amtrak Train at Dangerous, Unguarded Canadian National Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Amite, Louisiana – July 14, 2014)

The Diamond B Construction crossing of the old Illinois Central (now Canadian National) Railroad, which has accommodated passenger trains long before the inception of Amtrak, qualifies as both dangerous and unguarded and proved itself again Monday afternoon at about 1:30 P.M. CDT when Amtrak’s “City of New Orleans” train with 193 passengers on board collided with an 18-wheeler dump truck loaded with asphalt, seriously injuring the truck driver and putting the safety of those on the train in peril.

Monday’s accident was the fifth to occur at the intersection since 1996 according to Federal Railroad Administration records, which say the crossing has three fatalities and three non-fatal injuries. Three of those incidents have involved Amtrak trains, which cross there twice daily at a top allowable speed of 79 mph. Altogether, a dozen trains cross there each day, with motorists risking their lives at the crossing which does not have any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that lights and gates would have prevented this tragedy and the many that occurred before it. Both Canadian National and Operation Lifesaver know 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%

The as-yet unidentified driver had the truck he was driving struck on the driver’s side, ejecting the victim and necessitating emergency responders to transport him to a nearby hospital where he was admitted in stable condition.

Tangipahoa Parish Fire District #1 Chief Bruce Cutrer told WWL-TV Eyewitness News Reporter Ashley Rodrigue that “We had a significant flash fire from damage to the truck that was crossing, (as well as) significant damage to the engine of the train and other parts of the train,” adding that “We had a flash fire on the east side of the train where the diesel storage (fuel tanks) were.”

Ricky Rogers, who lives adjacent to the crash site, was among those who went to the scene to provide whatever aid they could to the temporarily-stranded passengers, some of whom were from international points such as Ireland and Australia. “Most of them were alright,” he told WWL-TV’s Rodrigue, but added that “They were very frightened by the shaking of the train and the gas (diesel fuel) leak and everything.”

Four buses provided by the Tangipahoa Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness transported the passengers to New Orleans, LA, the train’s ultimate destination.


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