Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Rail-Mounted Inspection Vehicle Strikes Truck, Injures Two

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Oakdale, California – September 17, 2011)

A railroad maintenance of way inspection vehicle, carrying two Sierra Northern Railway employees, collided with a Dodge Ram pickup truck at the crossing of Sierra Northern tracks and Wamble Road near Oakdale, CA Saturday afternoon about 4:00 P.M.

Donald Pomplum, 65, of San Ramon, CA and Olga Grinsberg, 67, of Hayward, CA were both injured and transported to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, CA.

The driver of the pickup, William Phillips, 74, of Modesto, CA, saw the rail-mounted vehicle approaching and turned his truck to avoid it, but was still struck by the inspection vehicle. The California Highway Patrol troopers who investigated the accident said the rail-mounted vehicle is too small to activate crossing signals. The Wamble Road/SN Railway crossing is equipped with lights and gates, but they never were triggered.

NOTE: Rail-mounted vehicles, including hi-rail equipment, which have no capability to activate crossing signals, have NO right-of-way at road, street and highway crossings, whether equipped with electronic protection (lights, bells or gates) or not. They MUST stop and clear all highway traffic before proceeding across the crossing.


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