KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Neighbors and lawyers representing people filing civil lawsuits tell FOX4 they are noticing improvements made to the railroad crossing where an Amtrak train hit a dump trunk on June 27, 2022.
The train derailed, flipping some cars on its side. The crash killed four people, including the dump truck driver.
Pictures taken weeks after the crash appear to show new gravel and dirt on the road leadig up to the rail crossing, making the incline much less steep. Lawyer Jerry Schlichter tells FOX4 he found out that was added by a contractor brought in to clean up the wreck so their equipment could reach the crossing.
“So before they could go up to the top to do repair, they had to put down more rock so they would lower the incline and get to the top,” said Schlichter. “The railroad’s own contractor couldn’t even get to the top while the railroad is expecting trucks such as the one being drive here on this day to get across in a matter of a few seconds.”
Schlichter’s perspective was confirmed by people who live near the crossing, who claimed they also noticed the crossing looked different in the days and weeks after the incident.
Pictures from the day of the crash also appear to show a stop sign on only one side of the crossing. More recent images show stop signs on both sides of the crossing.
Schlichter says he’s still waiting to hear back from Amtrak to see if they are going to hold passengers to an arbitration clause the company claims passengers agreed to when they bought their tickets. Arbitration would severely limit the passengers’ ability to get damages from the crash.
“Both Amtrak and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe are [using the court system] while Amtrak is saying their passengers don’t have the same right to go to court as they’re using,” said Schlichter.
Friday, MS Contracting, which ownes the dump truck involved in the crash, asked for the civil lawsuit Amtrak and BNSF filed against them be delayed until the NTSB report is released. A preliminary report is expected within days but a full report could take a year and a half or longer.
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