5 injured in train and car accident near Rochester

Many Rochester area residents likely pride themselves on being safe and responsible drivers. While in control of a motor vehicle, drivers must obey traffic laws and be ever watchful and vigilant for other cars and pedestrians. When an individual is a passenger in a car, however, their life is in the hands of the driver.

Passengers who are injured in car accidents may suffer serious injuries that require both immediate and ongoing medical care. Through no fault of their own, passengers may be forced to endure months or even years of pain as well as incur expenses related to medical bills and lost wages. This fate may be what lies ahead for some of the passengers who were recently involved in a train and car accident near Rochester.

According to the police report, the accident occurred around 11 p.m. when a car driven by a 30-year-old man failed to stop at a flashing train crossing. As the driver attempted to beat the oncoming train, the train’s crew frantically engaged the engine’s horn and emergency brake. Unable to stop, the train crashed into the driver’s side of the car.

All five of the car’s occupants suffered injuries and all required medical care. A 23-year-old male backseat passenger suffered a serious head injury and remains in serious condition. He was among three of the vehicle’s occupants who were air lifted to a Rochester hospital. Three of the individuals, including the driver, are currently listed as being in fair condition while another passenger has been released.

Police continue to investigate the accident and possible contributing factors. A railroad spokesperson reported that the warning lights and horn at the train crossing were working and engaged when the accident occurred. Police also report that evidence from the crash scene indicates the driver likely was trying to beat the train. At this time, they do not believe the driver had been drinking.

In this case, the four passengers who suffered injuries may choose to take legal action against the 30-year-old driver. Passengers put their trust and very lives in the hands of those individuals with whom they drive. When a passenger suffers serious injuries such as a head or brain injury, their health and life may be irreparably harmed.

Source: Owatonna People’s Press, “Train crash injures 5 in Owatonna,” Al Strain, March, 13, 2014