Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Ohio High School Senior Killed by Norfolk Southern Train

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Willoughby, Ohio – September 28, 2017)

An autistic youth who suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome and was a senior student at Willoughby South High School near Euclid, OH, died Thursday after he was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train.  Tragically the teenager was not found until the next day on a double track rail corridor which handles a daily average of 21 trains operating at a maximum allowable speed of 60 mph.

Trenton Sobolewski of Willoughby, OH, was found deceased along the tracks near Dille Road in Euclid a day after his mother frantically reported him missing to local police authorities.  Officials ruled the tragedy as accidental, but had no explanation as to why the striking of a pedestrian was not reported by the railroad.  Local police also had questions about why it took so long to find his body on such a heavily-used stretch of track.

The young man was considering a career in graphic, design, according to his mother, Janice Dukes, who told The Cleveland Plain Dealer that , although her son was socially awkward when he was younger, he  overcame the difficulty to become a high-functioning, well-liked teenager  who had the tendency to “stick up for other students who were bullied.”

She told Cleveland Plain Dealer staff writer Evan MacDonald that “he was very loving and positive” and that “He shared the light he had with everyone around him.”



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