Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Third Man Dies from January Collision at Dangerous, Unguarded Norfolk Southern Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Cottondale, Alabama – February 11, 20140)

Another member of a contract crew of five men working for the Alabama Dept. of Transportation who were riding in a pickup truck January 28 and which was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Larry Noland Road near Cottondale, AL, died Friday after two weeks in a medically-induced coma at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, AL..

The death of 58-year-old David McKenzie of Foley, AL was the third attributed to the tragedy, which occurred as snow obscured the driver’s ability to see the oncoming NS freight train, added to the fatalities of another passenger, Terrance Nahum Mickles, 39, also of Foley, AL, and the driver, Charles Kelly Meiklejohn, 57, of Gulf Shores, AL.

The crossing, which is listed as private in Federal Railroad Administration-kept and railroad-supplied grade crossing inventories, is of a public road.

Alabama State Troopers have still not identified the other two men who were hospitalized with serious injuries from the accident, which occurred at a crossing lacking any form of active protection such as flashing lights, bells and crossing gates, items which, if properly functioning, would certainly have helped prevent the terrible tragedy. Passive signage, which was present at the crossing, has no capability whatsoever to give motorists warning of approaching trains, especially when visibility down the tracks was severely limited.

The NS/Larry Noland Road crossing has now experienced four accidents resulting in four fatalities, according to FRA records, and is crossed by an average of 15 trains daily at a top allowable timetable speed of 60 mph.


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