PURDY, Mo. — A lawsuit is filed against the state of Missouri and a railway company following the death of a grandmother in Purdy.
Fransisca Perez Salas, 59, died after being hit by a train. Her two grandchildren three and 8-years-old were seriously injured.
An issue here is the lack of crossing arms and lights, that’s according to the attorney representing the family. Eric Jensen with Potts Law Firm says they are suing Arkansas -Missouri railway and the Missouri Department of Transportation.
“For inadequate crossings inadequately marked crossing that doesn’t allow drivers to be able to visualize the train when they should be able to for safety,” Jensen said.
According to Purdy city leaders, there have been two serious accidents over the past two years with people and their vehicles being hit by the train.
Leaders say it was their understanding crossing rails should have gone up last summer.
Jensen contends the intersection is a dangerous one.
“The crossing here at Washington Avenue is …there’s a lot of buildings around it and it makes it very difficult for drivers, especially for drivers coming from the west and going to the east to be able to see and train and also hear a train as it approaches from the north,” Jensen said.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s initial report, the cause of the accident is that the “driver failed to yield.”
Under Missouri law, crossbars serve as yield signs meaning slow down, look and proceed with caution.
“I can’t comment specially on this case because the investigation is still ongoing,” Jensen said. “I can say any person with common sense would tell you coming to this crossing if you try to see a train approaching…you’re going to see buildings, you’re not going to see a train.
Numerous calls and e-mails for comment to the Arkansas-Missouri Railroad were not returned. A spokesperson with MoDOT says they don’t comment on ongoing litigation.
Jensen says a big part of his lawsuit and investigation will be whether not the conductor sounded the horn and whether or not it was in a timely manner.