During the second week of February, a 40-year-old Phoenix man was struck by a light rail train. Reportedly, the man had been walking on a sidewalk parallel to the train tracks when he decided to cross the adjacent street (at 19th and Montebello Avenues in the city). As the man walked on the tracks between traffic lanes, he was struck by the light rail train, and is now in critical condition after being trapped beneath the train. Firefighters had to use special airbags to lift up a portion of the train in order to free the man.
Captain Rob McDade, with the Phoenix Fire Department reported that the injured man was “hanging on for dear life,” when firefighters arrived. However, when he was finally pulled from under the train he was breathing on his own. The man suffered injuries primarily to his torso area according to the trauma center where he was taken. Captain McDade also noted that “those trains are deceptively fast,” when asked whether he thought the injured man had tried to “outrun” the train.
The tracks in the area were closed by Valley Metro; 19th Avenue was also closed in both directions between Missouri Avenue and Bethany Home Road. There was at least one witness to the accident whom police are talking to, while also looking for any surveillance videos which might shed more light on the accident. The train platform at Montebello and 19th Ave is closed while investigators search for information, however a bus bridge is currently running from 19th Avenue and Camelback to Glendale and 19th Avenue.
Benefits of the Light Rail Sometimes Overshadowed by Accidents
While the Phoenix Light Rail is extremely beneficial to city residents, providing additional transportation options between Mesa, ASU and downtown Phoenix, it poses some hazards to pedestrians, drivers, and train passengers. In fact, during its first three months of operation in 2009-2010, there was, on average, an accident on the light rail almost every six days. While that number has greatly decreased, light rail accidents in Phoenix and in other cities can be extremely serious.
Pedestrians may think they have time to cross in front of the light rail and drivers of vehicles may think the same. Due to the light rail being city operated, those injured as a result of the light rail may have a very limited time to file a personal injury claim—usually about six months. Because of this, it can be very beneficial to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a light rail accident.
Contact Our Phoenix Accident Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a public transportation accident in Phoenix, it is important to know that time is critical. At Miller Kory Rowe, LLP, our Phoenix public transportation lawyers know that injured accident victims only have a short window to file an accident claim against a city or local public transportation department. To learn more, it is important to speak to one of our experienced lawyers today. Contact us today at (602) 737-0342 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.