On Friday June 27, 2014, a Kirkwood Missouri family filed a lawsuit against the National Railroad Passenger Corporation d/b/a Amtrak in St. Louis County claiming damages for the wrongful death of their 14 year-old son who was fatally injured after being struck by a train within the City Limits of Kirkwood in May of 2012.
The family alleges that the pedestrian/train accident was the direct result of the negligence of the Amtrak and the crew operating the train. The lawsuit claims that the train’s crew saw the teen from over a quarter mile away, waited a needlessly and dangerously long time before blowing its whistle, and failed to take any effective action to slow or stop the train. They state that the crew knew or should have known that the boy was in “imminent danger” and still failed to give a proper warning of the train’s approach.
The boy was struck and killed on May 30, 2012, by the Missouri River Runner en route from St. Louis to Kansas City, MO. He was near Leffingwell Avenue in Kirkwood and according to reports was using a popular shortcut to downtown Kirkwood. News reports indicate that Amtrak’s position is that the engineer sounded his horn but was unable to stop in time. Police investigations note the boy was wearing earphones and probably did not hear the train approaching.
The family’s lawyer states that if the boy had gotten another half-second warning, he would have survived.
The family is suing for compensation and punitive damages due to Amtrak’s “reckless disregard for the consequences of its actions.”