The California Highway Patrol said the victim of a fatal accident involving a passenger vehicle and a Union Pacific freight train has been identified. The victim was a 45-year-old female from Watsonville who was a passenger in the car. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to law enforcement officers.
The driver of the vehicle, a 27-year-old female also from Watsonville suffered major injuries in the crash and was transported by air to a San Francisco Bay Area hospital for treatment of her injuries. Three children were also in the vehicle at the time of the crash, including two girls ages 7 and 13 who were in the backseat. Both suffered minor injuries in the crash while a 2-year-old boy escaped injury.
Both the girls were transported to Watsonville Community Hospital for treatment of their injuries. The accident occurred just before 4:00 p.m. last Sunday on a dirt frontage road when the vehicle entered a railroad crossing. The impact of the westbound train pushed the small compact car onto the west side of the train tracks. The victim of the fatal crash was trapped by the train in the front passenger-side seat. She was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Although the railroad crossing is marked there is no crossing gate in which to alert motorists of an oncoming train. California Highway Patrol investigators said drugs or alcohol do not appear to be an issue in the crash. The three crewmen aboard the freight train were uninjured. The surviving passengers were not identified so it is unknown if the children in the car at the time of the crash were related to the victim in any way.
Anytime there is a fatal car accident family members are left grieving over the sudden and senseless loss of a loved one. In some cases family members may choose to pursue a wrongful death action against the responsible party or parties who caused the crash in order to recover damages, such as funeral and burial expenses and future lost wages the deceased may have contributed in support of the family.
Source: The Herald, "Fatality in Pajaro car-train crash ID'd," Kevin Howe, Jan. 29, 2013
Our Northern California law firm helps individuals and families who have been injured or killed in car accidents recover damages for their injuries or loss.