September 30, 2013

At least 11 Passengers Injured in CTA Blueline Accident

According to preliminary reports at least 11 people have been injured in a collision between two Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains stopped near the Harlem Blueline station.

At approximately 8:00 a.m. this morning a CTA train crashed into another train that was stopped at the Harlem station on the line towards Forrest Park. Ambulances have been called to the scene and passengers are being re-routed.

In 2009, the Illinois Legislature with the Governor's approval, repealed a law requiring people with negligence claims against the CTA that arose from injuries they sustained in public transportation accidents to provide the CTA with written notice of their claim within 6 months of the incident occurring. Although the 6-month notice requirement has been repealed, making it easier to bring a claim against the CTA for serious transit injuries, a one-year statute of limitations still remains. This means that a person who was injured due to CTA negligence has one year to file a claim, otherwise their cause of action will be forever barred and there will be no remedy for recovery.

September 14, 2011

Blue Line commuter falls on tracks

A person fell from the platform at the CTA Division station on to the tracks this morning and was hit by a train, causing the power to be shut off for approximately 14 minutes. It was reported that the person who fell was taken to an area hospital for observation. The person did not make contact with the electric third rail.

The Klest Law Firm is experienced in handling train accident cases and is pursuing claims on behalf of the victims of the Metra derailment of May 13, 2011. To speak with an attorney from the Klest Injury Law Firm, please call 866-264-7639.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

September 14, 2011

Red-light cameras to be turned back on in Elk Grove Village

Eight months ago, Elk Grove Village turned off its red-light cameras on Busse Road and Devon Avenue. Since then, traffic accidents at that intersection increased nearly three times. From January to August of this year there were 29 crashes, compared to last hear where there were only 10. This has prompted the Village Board to vote Tuesday night to have the cameras reactivated.

To speak to an experienced car accident lawyer from the Klest Injury Law Firm, call 866-264-7639 for a free consultation.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

June 25, 2011

Chicago Based Amtrak Train Accident Leaves Five Dead

A collision between a California bound Amtrak train and a truck resulted in five deaths earlier this morning. The Amtrak train had reportedly left Chicago on Wednesday and was in Nevada about 300 miles from its destination when the accident occurred. The Amtrak train, California Zephyr, operates daily trips between Chicago and Emeryville, Ca. According to reports, the fatal train accident occurred when a truck hit the train at a public railroad crossing near the town of Lovelock, NV, around 11:20 a.m. The Amtrak train was carrying 204 passengers and 14 crew members at the time of the crash.

Witnesses describe a scene of confusion and panic following the heavy collision as smoke filled the train cars. Nearly all of the train passengers and crew had self-evacuated by the time emergency crews arrived. The end result of the train accident left 5 dead and another twenty injured. Many of the train accident survivors were taken to a local school for recovery. Some of the more seriously injured passengers had to be medivacked out from the scene of the train crash. The National Transportation Safety Board has started an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash. Individuals with questions about friends and family members that may have been aboard the train are encouraged to contact Metra at 1-800-523-9101.

It is important that vital evidence is preserved when a catastrophic train accident occurs. The Klest Law Firm is experienced in handling train accident cases and is currently pursuing claims on behalf of the victims of the Metra derailment of May 13, 2011.

May 13, 2011

Metra Train Derailment in Des Plaines, IL

A Metra train derailed in suburban Des Plaines, IL, this morning when the train reportedly struck a dump truck at Northwest Highway and Mt. Prospect Roads. The train accident occurred around 8:40 this morning. The train, number 636, was reportedly heading inbound from Harvard when it struck the truck at the crossing around 8:40 a.m. Witnesses to the train crash described a horrific scene of confusion as the train cars filled with smoke and tilted following a large explosion. Reports indicate that some passengers were jumping out of train windows at both the first and second levels. Witnesses heard no horn or brakes prior to the Chicago train accident.

The truck was reportedly carrying a load of concrete and was operating northwest on Northwest Highway. Police have indicated that the truck may have turned left onto Mt. Prospect Rd. and through the train crossing. The Metra train eventually came to rest about 200 yards east of Mount Prospect Rd. As many as 800 passengers were aboard the train when the accident occurred and reports have indicated that at least 17 suffered train accident injuries. Information regarding the Chicago train derailment still remains somewhat limited.

Statistics show that a railroad accident occurs approximately every two hours in the United States. The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis has revealed that there were 13,067 railroad related accidents in 2007 resulting in 851 deaths and 8,801 non-fatal injuries.

January 16, 2011

Pedestrian Struck and Killed by Train in Berwyn, IL

A pedestrian was killed on January 13th in Berwyn, IL, when he was struck by a train at the East Avenue crossing of the Burlington North Santa Fe line. The tragic Chicago train accident occurred at about 6:25 p.m. According to Berwyn Police, the male pedestrian was struck by an inbound train that was reportedly scheduled to arrive in the city at 6:42 p.m. The Chicago train accident delayed Metra service on the North Santa Fe line for about an hour. A train that was initially scheduled to depart Union Station for Downers Grove at 7 p.m. was cancelled as a result of the fatal Chicago train crash.

Emergency response personnel were able to determine that the man had died and was to be taken from the scene of the fatal accident to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The Cook County medical examiner was not able to provide further information about the train accident victim as of 8 p.m. Thursday evening. The fatal Chicago train crash is still being investigated by local authorities.
Chicago area train crossings can be very dangerous for pedestrians and motorists alike.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that about 247 people were killed in vehicle-train accidents in the U.S. in 2009 and that another 431 died on or near train tracks. If you have any questions regarding train accident in and around Chicago or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please contact our law firm.

July 1, 2010

Chicago Man Hit and Killed by Metra Train

A Chicago resident was struck and killed by a Metra train Wednesday morning in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. The deceased resided on the 400 block of East 113th St. According to a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, the man was hit near 11100 S. Cottage Grove Ave. around 7:14 a.m. Eyewitness reports publicized via a Metra spokesperson indicate that the man may have been trying to retrieve items from the track when the tragic Chicago train accident occurred. The train engineer applied the brakes but was reportedly unable to stop the train in time to avoid a fatal collision.

The train, Electric Line train No. 106, was halted at the scent of the accident for about one hour following the deadly train crash. Train passengers were transferred to another train shortly thereafter at which point the trip downtown was resumed. Metra service was reportedly delayed about an hour following the crash. The Chicago train fatality is still being investigated by local authorities and Metra.

If you have been the victim of a Chicago train accident you should contact a Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible to investigate the accident and preserve evidence. The Klest Law Firm has been advocating on behalf of injured individuals in catastrophic matters for over twenty eight years.

April 23, 2010

Train Signals were not Properly Functioning at Intersection Prior to Tragic Illinois Train Accident

Officials from the Canadian National Railway (CNR) have admitted that track signals at the Stuenkel Rd. intersection were not functioning properly last Friday night when a young dance instructor was hit by a train. The fatal Chicago area train accident occurred on the Amtrak tracks in University Park, IL, about a half mile from Governors State University. Initial reports of the tragedy had indicated that railroad crews working near the intersection had inadvertently deactivated the gates, bells and warning lights prior to the fatal Chicago train accident. An investigator who wished to remain nameless disclosed, “This was human error.” These findings were corroborated by a video camera that was on board the four car Amtrak train. That video shows that there were no flashing lights, barrier gates, and/or bells activated at the Stuenkel Road crossing.

The Federal Railroad Administration is investigating the accident along with Canadian National, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Commerce Commission and the National Transportation Safety Board. Officials from Canadian National have declined to comment on the tragic train accident, however a statement was issued admitting that the crossing protection systems in place at the intersection did not function properly.

Train accidents require exhaustive investigation and often involve many parties. If you have been injured in an Illinois train accident, you should contact an Illinois personal injury attorney to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. The Klest Law Firm has over thirty years of experience helping victims of Illinois accidents.

December 11, 2009

Chicago Woman Killed by Amtrak Train in Lake Forest, IL

A woman died yesterday when she was struck by an Amtrak train around 5 p.m. According to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari, a Seattle and Portland bound train hit the woman as she was using the pedestrian crossing at the Lake Forest, IL, station. The train accident claimed the life of 43 year-old Teresa Spradlin of Grayslake, IL. The Lake County Coroner officially pronounced Spradlin dead around 6 p.m. yesterday.

Two unidentified Grayslake men were also injured in the train accident. Those men were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with reportedly minor injuries. Amtrak officials and the Lake Forest Police report that the train was stopped for about four hours while the accident was being investigated. It has been speculated that the victim was attempting to cross in front of the non-stop Amtrak train when the accident occurred. The train accident is still under investigation.

According to Illinois Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit public education program established to end collisions and deaths at railroad crossings, Illinois ranks fourth among the top 15 states for rail crossing collisions. The non-profit reports that Illinois suffered 151 highway-rail grade crossing collisions in 2007. About half of these collisions occurred while warning signals were flashing or train gates were down.

June 22, 2009

Illinois Woman Killed in Freight Train Accident

A Rockford, IL, woman was killed last Friday when a freight train derailed setting off a dangerous explosion. According to reports, the tragic train accident occurred at a rural Cherry Valley, IL, train intersection around 9 p.m. on Friday night. The train was heading from Freeport to Chicago when the derailment occurred. According to Canadian National Railway Company officials, the train comprised 18 cars loaded with ethanol. The train derailed as it was approaching the Cherry Valley intersection. Zoila Tellez of Rockford, IL, was killed trying to flee the intersection once the train derailed according to the Winnebago County Coroner. Three passengers were able to survive the flaming accident. A 17 year old girl injured in the accident was listed in critical but stable condition at the burn unit of Chicago’s Stroger Hospital.

Investigators have determined that there was high water along the tracks where the freight train derailed. The role that the rainwater played in the crash remains under investigation according to Robert Sumwaldt of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB says that it could take up to a year to indentify the cause of the train accident. The agency is presently looking for witnesses that might have observed the train accident for interviews.

Illinois train accidents are very dangerous and complex. If you have any questions regarding a train accident or you would like to speak to an experienced attorney contact the Klest Injury Law Firm today.

March 13, 2009

Illinois Amtrak Truck-Train Collision Kills One

A St. Louis woman was killed yesterday when an Amtrak train struck her pickup truck in Hartford, Illinois. The Illinois train accident occurred at the intersection of Seventh and Olive streets around 7:25 a.m. The accident victim has been identified as 31 year-old Heather Sheree Balven of the 7500 block of Hoover Avenue in St. Louis. Balven was employed as a geotechnical engineer with Terracon Consultants Inc., a subcontracting outfit that was hired to help construct an Alaskan oil pipeline to the area. Eyewitness Robert Preston said that he saw the truck approaching the intersection just before the collision. He reports that he did not hear the train sound a horn until it was at the railroad crossing at which point he saw the truck fly ‘about 75 feet in the air.’ The intersection where the train accident occurred is not equipped with crossing signs or lights.

Balven’s truck came to a halt about 75 yards north of the railroad crossing. Balven was killed on impact according to the Madison County Coroner’s Office. Amtrak reports that none of the 64 passengers or crew members aboard the train suffered injuries. The train was bound from St. Louis to Chicago and was travelling between 50 and 60 mph at the time of the collision. The Hartford Police Department is still investigating the tragic train accident.

November 27, 2008

Chicago Freight Train Collision Kills Westmont Man

A Westmont man was killed yesterday when his car was struck by a westbound freight train leaving Chicago. The motor vehicle accident occurred at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Cass Avenue and the BNSF Railway tracks located between Burlington Avenue and Quincy Street in Westmont. According to the DuPage County Coroner’s Office, 91 year-old Louis Lome was killed when the train collided with his silver sedan on the tracks. Lome’s car was subsequently dragged down the tracks past the Westmont Metra passenger platform. The circumstances surrounding the accident remain under investigation however several witnesses have reported that Lome may have been attempting to circumvent the railway crossing gates when the accident occurred.

Railway director of public relations Steve Forsberg reports that the westbound freight train was empty after having carried coal to Chicago. The train was allegedly traveling between 35 and 40 mph at the time of the fatal collision. Forsberg claims that the gates and warning signals had been tested and were in working order. The accident caused significant problems for inbound Chicago Metra trains resulting in delays of up to an hour and fifteen minutes.

According to Illinois Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit public education program established to end collisions and deaths at railroad crossings, Illinois ranks fourth among the top 15 states for rail crossing collisions. The non-profit reports that Illinois suffered 151 highway-rail grade crossing collisions in 2007. About half of these collisions occurred while warning signals were flashing or train gates were down.

November 18, 2008

Chicago Train Derailment Lawsuits: Metra to Pay $11 Million dollars

A Cook County Judge has approved a settlement awarding the families of two deceased Chicago Metra riders $11 million dollars in the wake of a fatal train derailment that occurred on September 17, 2005. The settlement, which was entered on November 12th, was reached just as the two wrongful death lawsuits were scheduled for trial. The suits were brought by the families of Jane Cuthbert, a 38 year-old research technician from New Lenox, and Allison Walsh, a 22 year-old student from Oak Forest. Cuthbert and Walsh are just two of the more than 100 victims of the train derailment. By the terms of the settlement, Walsh’s family will receive $5 million dollars while Cuthbert’s will receive $6 million. Walsh and Cuthbert were the only two deaths resulting from the 2005 train derailment.

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has revealed that the primary cause of the accident was operator failure. More specifically, the investigation determined that the train operator failed to conduct the train in accordance with signal and speed restrictions. The derailment occurred on Metra’s Rock Island train route between Joliet and Chicago at the 48th Street crossover. At the time of the accident, the train was traveling 60 mph over the 10 mph maximum speed posted at the crossover. The NTSB also cited Metra’s failure to install a satellite-based safety system designed to override human error as a cause of the accident.

The settlement represents only the tip of the iceberg for Metra as approximately 35 Chicago personal injury lawsuits related to the derailment remain pending. Since the 2005 derailment tragedy, Metra has instituted a more comprehensive training program and upgraded operation technologies. The improvements, however, do not include a satellite emergency override system to combat operator error. The commuter line is presently awaiting federal approval for an emergency system to be installed next August.

March 18, 2006

Railroad Accidents

Trains are a common mode of transportation in Illinois, with many commuters opting to ride a train or subway to work or some other destination. Although the Chicago Transit Authority, the Metra subway system, and the different railroad companies are required to keep the trains and subways running safely on their tracks, train accidents in the Chicago area do happen. Train and subway passengers, pedestrians, motor vehicle drivers, railroad workers, train and subway operators, and railroad and subway employees are frequently the ones who are injured or killed.

If you have been injured in a train crash, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case right away. At Joseph Klest, Attorney at Law, we offer a FREE consultation to all train injury victims and family members that have lost loved ones in train accidents. Attorney Klest will be happy to offer you advice on the immediate steps that you can take to protect your rights so you can obtain the maximum compensation from any negligent parties.

The sooner you hire an experienced and knowledgeable Chicago personal injury lawyer to start gathering the evidence and building your case, the greater your chances are of being able to obtain the best outcome possible in your train accident claim or lawsuit. Proving that a railroad company or a transportation system/authority is liable for your train accident injuries can be very difficult, which is why you need a personal injury lawyer that understands the rules and regulations that govern trains and subways in Illinois.

Mr. Klest has successfully handled many train accident cases throughout Illinois for more than 30 years. He can get a court order to preserve any evidence, such as defective railroad equipment and faulty crossings, from your accident. He knows how to investigate the accident evidence, and he will work with a team of highly qualified experts that can examine the evidence and your injuries.

Causes and Injuries
Common causes of train and subway accidents include mechanical failure, faulty crossing signs, operator negligence or fatigue, defective tracks, hazardous spills, and collisions with a motor vehicle, pedestrian, or another train or subway.

Train accident injuries are frequently catastrophic, if not fatal, and the medical and recovery costs can be astronomical. Attorney Klest has the resources to determine how much you will need to recover and move forward with your life. He will file a claim or lawsuit that takes into account your current and long-term financial and recovery needs.

Mr. Klest will customize his services and approach to your injury case to fit your needs and goals. He is accessible and available to all his clients. He is a nationally renowned and well-respected personal injury and trial attorney. He has a reputation in the Chicago area for his ability to obtain successful outcomes in cases that have been declared "hopeless" or were turned down by other personal injury attorneys.

For over 30 years, Attorney Klest has represented thousands of satisfied clients in Will County, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County and the rest of Illinois in all areas of personal injury law. Joseph Klest, Attorney at Law has offices in Chicago and Schaumburg, Illinois, and we are happy to meet you at another location or in another city if that is more convenient.

To request your FREE consultation with Joseph Klest, Attorney at Law, contact us online today or call (630) 529-7848, (312) 527-2779, or (847) 969-9510.

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