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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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Scott Cooper
Scott Cooper
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Pennsylvania Law Mandates Duties At Railroad Crossings For Operators Of Trains And Vehicles

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Pennsylvania law generally provides that whenever any person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad grade crossing the driver of the vehicle shall stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad and shall not proceed until it can be done safely. The law also states that no person shall drive any vehicle through, around or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while the gate or barrier is closed. No person shall start to drive a vehicle through, around or under a gate or barrier at the entrance to a railroad crossing while the gate or barrier is being opened or closed.

Federal and state law also imposes duties upon the operators of trains. When either the driver of a vehicle or the operator of the train fails to comply with these duties and causes and injury or death, there may be a claim for damages.

Yesterday, a person was killed in an accident after a car in which she was a passenger was hit by a train at a railroad crossing. According to news report, a girl was killed when the car she was riding in collided with the locomotive of a southbound North Shore freight train in a driving rainstorm at the Center Street railroad crossing. Maxine Eschbach was killed in the crash. The car, driven by a 16-year-old girl whose name was not released by police, was traveling west on Center Street at about 4:30 p.m. when it was hit by the train. Eschbach was wearing a seat belt

The driver of the car was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, where she was listed in serious, but stable condition Monday evening.

According to police, after the impact, the train engineer tried to brake, but the car was pushed about two blocks, before it became dislodged from the engine, just south of Mahoning Street.

For more on the accident see the Sunbury Daily Item at:

http://dailyitem.com/0100_news/x41012193/Girl-16-dies-in-car-train-crash

Clearly, someone violated the duties outline in Pennsylvania and federal law.