Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Pennsylvania High School Student Walking to School, Killed by Norfolk Southern Train

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Lebanon, Pennsylvania – March 13, 2015)

A 16-year-old high school student, with his life ahead of him, had his dreams cut short early Friday morning at about 6:42 A.M., EDT as he walked to his classes at Lebanon, PA High School and was struck and killed instantly by a 42-car Norfolk Southern freight train being powered by three locomotives and traveling from Allentown to Harrisburg, PA.

Antonio Hernandez was at or near the Seventh Street crossing of NS tracks and “It wasn’t uncommon for him to be there at that time,” according to Lebanon Chief of Police Daniel Wright. Lebanon High School is on South Eighth Street, but the NS tracks run directly behind the Lebanon Middle School and the district’s athletic stadium between Seventh and Eighth Streets, with the crossing within sight of the school complex.

The victim was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital, but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The accident was the sixth since 2004 and the third death to occur at the Seventh Street crossing, which has lights and gates for vehicular traffic. All three deaths have been suffered by pedestrians.

Although NS spokesperson Dave Pidgeon said that the speed limit for the rail corridor through Lebanon is 50 mph, information published by the Federal Railroad Administration places the maximum speed at 25 mph. This may have been a community where the railroads have increased speeds due to track condition improvement.

Because Lebanon Fire Dept. crews were fighting a house fire at the 500 block of East Cumberland, mutual assistance response to the tragedy had to be provided by fire crews from Palmyra and Campbelltown, PA.

The mood at the high school Friday was understandably reserved according to Chris Danz, assistant to the supt. for human resources and secondary education. A makeshift memorial was set up near the crossing, and one visitor to the shrine was Nicholas Flores, also 16 and a classmate of the victim, of whom he said “He was a person you could talk to; he was very caring,” adding that “To see a kid, especially as young as him, go is so sad. It really bothers me and hurts me. I have my hopes and dreams, and I’m sure he did, too.”


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