A recent train – tour bus collision in Biloxi, Mississippi, that killed four and left many injured, has been investigated by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) for several weeks and their findings will soon be made public.
A crash survivor gave his statement after the incident and stated that the bus got stuck on the crossing which may indicate that the crossing was poorly designed and maintained. Questions that may arise in this scenario is whether the city properly warned approaching vehicles of low ground clearance.
The City of Biloxi is looking into closing several of its railroad crossings in an effort to improve motorists’ safety but the crossing where this collision occurred is not on the closure list. It is not clear where liability may lie in this case but several scenarios are possible. For instance, the train could have been travelling at an unsafe speed, the tour bus driver may have been negligent in not keeping a proper look out and failed to assure that it was safe to cross the tracks. Alternatively, the state or a governmental unit or even the railway may bear some responsibility for designing and maintaining an unsafe crossing.