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Railroad News

Two teenagers injured at unguarded North Dakota railroad crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

Two teenagers near Des Lacs, ND were thrown out of their car when it collided with an eastbound train on Sunday. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train hit the car’s front end, sending the vehicle into a nearby ditch. The teenagers had to be rescued from the vehicle, and sent to a hospital in Minot to be treated for their injuries.

No cause for the accident is currently being listed, but it is known that the accident occurred at an unguarded crossing – a railroad crossing with no protective gate and no warning lights, but only a yield sign to warn passengers of the tracks. Police are not releasing further details about the incident at this time.

With roughly two-thirds of all railroad crossings having no active warning devices at all, it probably should not come as a surprise that this particular crossing currently is not outfitted with any protective technologies. Yet it remains startling that in spite of such a rapid occurrence of these tragedies at unguarded railroad crossings, the railroad companies are not being forced to do anything about it. More public outcry is needed if our railroad crossings are to become safe.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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