Cockerill, Craig & Moore, LLC Attorneys at Law

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by | Mar 28, 2014 | Firm News |


We represent people injured in accidents, including car accidents involving freight and passenger trains.  Last month a couple from Hamilton was killed after a River Line train struck their car, which was on the tracks at the time. According to NJ Transit, the driver ignored warnings of an oncoming train. There was heavy snow at the time and whether the driver saw the warnings, or if they were operating properly, is unknown.This incident highlights the dangers involved when cars and trains mix.


Constance English, 48, died on December 23 from injuries suffered when she was a passenger inside a vehicle struck by a River Line train in Trenton on December 14. She was critically injured in the crash and her husband, the driver of the car, was killed. After the collision on the driver’s side, the car was dragged about 200 feet. Constance was in the passenger seat of the family car driven by her husband, Herman, on Lalor Street when the car was struck by a train operated by NJ Transit. Herman English, 61, was pronounced dead at the scene. Constance English was extricated from the wreck and taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.


According to Operation Lifesaver (OL), a nonprofit whose goal is to prevent accidents involving trains, vehicles and pedestrians, every day three pedestrians and/or vehicles are struck by trains. OL states that the force of a freight train colliding with a car is roughly equivalent to the force of a car running over a soda can, from the soda can’s perspective. OL has these safety tips for motorists.

  • Trains and cars don’t mix. Never race a train to the crossing.
  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
  • Trains cannot stop quickly. A freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more (about 18 football fields) to stop once the emergency brakes are applied.
  • Never drive around lowered gates. It’s illegal and, potentially  deadly.
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks. Only proceed through a crossing if you are sure you can completely clear it without stopping.
  • If your vehicle ever stalls on a track with a train coming, get out immediately and move quickly away from the tracks in the direction from which the train is coming. Call a local law enforcement agency for assistance.
  • At a multiple track crossing, when waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.
  • When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways and cross the tracks quickly without stopping. It isn’t safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
  • Always expect a train. Freight trains do not follow set schedules.

We see many auto accident victims and their families. These accidents can cost lives and impact families forever. Take your time, use  common sense, and avoid becoming part of a tragedy. If you have been in an auto accident, contact Craig, Annin & Baxter LLP’s experienced Haddonfield NJ Auto And Truck Accidents Attorneys at Craig, Annin & Baxter LLP. Call now: 856-795-2220 If you have any questions about compensation due to an auto accident, contact our office for a free consultation.