Lawsuits filed days after deadly Missouri Amtrak crash

Jun 30, 2022, 6:32 PM | Updated: Jul 1, 2022, 4:04 pm
A Missouri state trooper controls traffic, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, on a road leading to the scene o...

A Missouri state trooper controls traffic, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, on a road leading to the scene of an Amtrak train which derailed after striking a dump truck Monday near Mendon, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The first lawsuits have been filed only days after an Amtrak train collision and derailment in rural Missouri that left four people dead and injured up to 150 others.

In a federal lawsuit filed Friday, surviving passenger Janet Williams of Dubuque, Iowa, named Amtrak, BNSF Railway Co. and MS Contracting LLC, the employer of the dump truck driver whose vehicle was struck by the train. The complaint alleges negligent design of the railroad crossing near the town of Mendon, and says the train was packed with too many riders, creating “cattle car conditions.”

On Thursday, Amtrak and BNSF Railway filed a federal lawsuit against MS Contracting, the Kansas City Star reported. That lawsuit said the train was “clearly visible” and that the truck driver was careless in crossing the tracks.

Phone calls to MS Contracting rang unanswered on Friday.

The crossing where the collision occurred has no lights, signals or gates to warn of an approaching train. Area residents had previously expressed concerns about the safety of the crossing, described by locals and a federal transportation safety official as very steep. Chariton County leaders have been pushing for a safety upgrade at the railroad crossing for nearly three years, presiding county commissioner Evan Emmerich said this week.

The truck driver, Billy Barton II, 54, of Brookfield, died in the collision, along with three passengers on the train. His widow, Erin Barton, on Thursday filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in state court against Chariton County and a BNSF official who cited the crossing as unsafe.

Chariton County Attorney Brandon Shelton did not immediately return a phone message left Friday.

Two train passengers — Rochelle Cook, 58, and Kim Holsapple, 56, both of DeSoto, Kansas — died at the scene. A third passenger, 82-year-old Binh Phan, of Kansas City, Missouri, died Tuesday at a hospital. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said up to 150 people also were injured.

Williams’ lawsuit said she “sustained significant and life-altering injuries” when she was suddenly thrown from her seat, struck by luggage and crushed by other passengers as her train car flipped onto its side. One of her attorneys, Robert J. Mongeluzzi, said in a statement that Amtrak and BNSF “failed to use basic railroad crossing safety devices such as warning lights and crossing gates.”

Messages left Friday with BNSF and Amtrak weren’t immediately returned.

The Southwest Chief was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago when it hit the truck. Two locomotives and eight cars derailed. Amtrak officials said about 275 passengers and 12 crew members were aboard. The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that the train was going about 87 mph (140 kph), under the 90 mph (145 kph) speed limit, when the collision happened.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Models wear creations as part of the Benetton women's Spring Summer 2023 collection presented in Mi...
Associated Press

Benetton, Ferrari close Milan Fashion Week with bold moves

MILAN (AP) — Milan Fashion Week closed Sunday after five days of mostly womenswear previews that celebrated diversity and renewal, with more designers of color represented than ever and a host of new talent making their debuts at major fashion houses. The Italian fashion council was also putting the spotlight on sustainability with the return […]
1 day ago
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Harry Styles, left, and Florence Pugh in a ...
Associated Press

‘Don’t Worry Darling’ shrugs off drama, opening with $19.2M

After off-screen drama threatened to consume Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” the Warner Bros. release opened No. 1 at the box office, debuting with $19.2 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. Starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, “Don’t Worry Darling” was engulfed by a storm of controversies that revolved around everything from […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

‘Eco-warrior” and Earth First! co-founder Dave Foreman dies

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Dave Foreman, a self-proclaimed eco-warrior who was a prominent member of the radical environmentalism movement and a co-founder of Earth First!, has died. He was 74. The New Mexico-based Rewilding Institute, which Foreman founded as a think tank to develop long-term land conservation plans, said on its website that he died […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Heavy crane topples onto downtown Oklahoma City building

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A 60-ton crane being used to remove a video display board from a downtown Oklahoma City building toppled onto the building that houses several news offices, officials said. The crane’s operator suffered minor injuries in the Saturday afternoon accident. Two other men working in the bucket of a small crane and […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

San Diego County to pay $1.35M over 2018 in-custody death

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego County and other defendants have agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the mother of a Mexican citizen who died after sheriff’s deputies arrested him in 2018, officials said. The lawsuit filed by Dolores Rosales, of Tijuana, alleged deputies used excessive force when they took […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Associated Press

Analysis: Latest Iran protests likely not last for Tehran

Only glimpses of videos that make it online show the protests convulsing Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by the nation’s morality police. But those flashes show that public anger across the country, once only simmering, is now boiling. The demonstrations surrounding the death of Mahsa Amini — and […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Lawsuits filed days after deadly Missouri Amtrak crash