(Brentwood, California – June 28, 2022)
Five victims, three killed and two with major injuries after they were struck at an unguarded railroad crossing in rural Brentwood, California. The surviving two were airlifted to local hospitals immediately after to be treated. The collision occurred around 1 PM after an Amtrak train was delayed about three hours. The train had 89 passengers or crew on board that remained uninjured after the incident.
The BNSF crossing has had five previous accidents due to its dangerous standards. On average, 9 trains go through the intersection at up to 60 miles per hour. While there are stop signs before the crossing, they have proven to be inadequate safety in many instances, especially with high speed Amtrak trains. The frequency of prior collisions should also have put the railroads on notice that this crossing required active safety devices, such as lights and gates. First responders commented on its unsafe precautions saying that “it’s in a rural part of our district, so it’s a lot more farmland out there. There are no crossing arms, there are no signals at that crossover, and it’s not the first accident that we’ve been to at that same spot.”
BNSF owns the track and is investigating the incident; however, this comes after the Missouri derailment between an Amtrak train and dump truck. Similarly, the intersection was also not protected by lights or gates. Residents of the neighborhood have installed personal signs on each side of the intersection after repeatedly asking BNSF Railway to add lights and gates.