Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Pedestrian Killed at Heavily Used BNSF Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Gardner, Kansas – April 1, 2014)

A 52-year-old man from Yankton, SD, but who was believed to be living locally in Gardner, KS was struck and killed Tuesday evening at about 6:00 P.M. by a westbound BNSF freight train. The train was one of a daily average of 82 trains that traverse the multi-tracked Moonlight Road/BNSF intersection at top allowable speeds of 70 mph on the east edge the Johnson County, KS. The city of Gardner is recently home to a new, large BNSF intermodal terminal and yard just beyond the western Kansas City metropolitan area. 

According to witness accounts, William Gainey had been waiting for the passage of one train in the opposite direction before he began crossing and was hit by a second train. Allegedly, the victim may have momentarily stopped, surprised by the second train. The Moonlight Road crossing signals and gates were still activated, but there are no pedestrian signals or gates at the crossing.

Trains are not required to sound their horns, by agreement, as they approach the Moonlight Road crossing, even though it is not part of a Federal Railroad Administration-permitted “Quiet Zone”, and that has some residents worried. Heather Hollingshead told KCTV Channel 5 Reporter Jeanene Kiesling that it might be time to revisit he silent situation since “Trains go through here every 10 minutes now.”

The exact speed of the train was not provided, but the train took the better part of a mile to come to a halt, and then blocked the heavily-used Moonlight Road crossing for several hours afterward while local and railroad authorities conducted their investigation into the tragedy.

According to internet sources, the victim was just a week shy of his wedding anniversary.


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