Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Witnesses and Family Question Proper Gate Function in Deadly Long Island Crossing Crash

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Islip, Long Island, New York — May 15, 2013)

Although railroad officials investigating the death of a 63-year-old Brentwood, NY father of four Friday afternoon called the presence of his 2000 Lexus at the Islip Avenue crossing of Long Island Railroad tracks “unauthorized”, they were still unable to determine if the crossing gates there were functioning properly at the time of the tragedy.

Adolfo Munoz, a retired used car salesman now working for his brother at DLC Motors near the site of the accident, was headed for home just after 4:00 P.M. when his car was struck by a LIRR train of maintenance equipment at the Route 111/Islip Ave. crossing just east of the Brentwood LIRR station, the Lexus destroyed and the victim ejected from his vehicle. Numerous users of the crossing questioned whether the gates were up or down when the collision occurred.

LIRR spokesman Sal Arena said on Friday that it was “too early to tell if the gates were up or down when the accident happened,” and his uncertainty was echoed Saturday by LIRR-owner Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson Marjorie Anders, who claimed that “We are looking into the functioning of the gates and flashers and downloading the black box.”

But Edson Munoz, 30, of Brentwood and a nephew of the victim, was on site himself Sunday, declaring that he “wanted to see” the tragic location, and that family and friends were “not too sure” about initial evaluations of driver fault in the fatal collision.  He was joined by the victim’s son, who did not give his name. “A lot of people were saying the gates were up and down and weren’t working properly,” charged Edson.

The Munoz’s skepticism was given support by Tomika Oliver, who said she drives past the crossing at least twice a day, and has witnessed consistent problems at the intersection, stating that “the gate guard comes down and then quickly pops up, but no train passes.”

“It makes me very nervous,” Oliver said of the grade crossing situation. “I don’t trust the gates.”

The victim was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving there.


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