Family of woman killed in Purdy train accident suing railroad and MODOT

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PURDY, Mo. –A lawsuit is now filed against the state and a railway company following the death of a grandmother in Purdy.

Her two grandchildren were seriously injured.

The grade crossing on Washington Avenue in Purdy is where 59-year-old Francisca Perez-Salas died after being hit by a train.

Her three and eight year old grandchildren, who were both unbuckled, were seriously injured

An issue here is a lack of crossing arms or lights.

That’s according to the attorney representing the family, Eric Jensen with Potts Law Firm.

He says they are suing the Arkansas-Missouri Railway and the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Eric Jensen, Attorney, “We’ve sued the railroad company and MODOT for inadequate crossings inadequately marked crossing that don’t allow drivers to be able to visualize the train when they should be able to for safety.”

According to Purdy city leaders there have been two serious accidents over the past two years with people and their vehicles being hit by trains.

Leaders say it was their understanding crossing arms 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.”

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s initial report stated the cause the cause of the accident was failure to yield.

Under Missouri law, cross-bucks at railroad crossings serve as yield signs, meaning slowdown, look, and proceed with caution.

“I can’t comment specially on this case because the investigation is still ongoing. But 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.

Eric Jensen says a big part of his lawsuit and investigation will be whether or not the train crew sounded the horn in a timely manner.

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