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UPDATE: Isabel Montes Died In Castroville Train Accident While Driving Fruit Truck Through Unmarked Railroad Crossing near Highway 183 and McFadden Road


Sep 28, 2019

Isabel Montes Castroville: Isabel Montes Died In Castroville Train Accident While Driving Fruit Truck Through Unmarked Railroad Crossing near Highway 183 and McFadden Road

CASTROVILLE, CALIFORNIA (September 28, 2019) – A 50-year-old truck driver identified as Isabel Montes has tragically died in a train accident while riding a produce truck over an unmarked railroad crossing by Highway 183 and McFadden Road. 

California Highway Patrol are saying that the accident took place around 1:00 p.m. It’s unknown if Isabel Montes’ truck may have gotten stuck on the train tracks before the accident. 

Police are saying that Isabel Montes was transporting equipment from one agricultural field to another. The Union Pacific train stopped following the accident. 

Police do not believe that the victim was aware of the oncoming train before being hit. Paramedics rushed to the scene in order to help the victim. Despite life-saving efforts Isabel Montes was pronounced dead. 

There are stop signs at the railroad crossing, but it doesn’t have any crossing arms, lights or audible devices to warn drivers of oncoming trains. An investigation into the fatal Union Pacific train accident remains ongoing.

Liability In Train Accidents

According to one report for the Federal Railroad Administration, there were nearly 12,000 train accidents at railroads in 2014. These accidents resulted in 804 deaths and thousands of fatalities. More than half of all of these accidents took place at unprotected crossings. There are a number of potential causes of train accidents including:

  • Defective tracks
  • Municipal negligence
  • Human error
  • Cars stalled on tracks
  • Fast train
  • Mechanical failure
  • Derailments

Cities and railroad companies have a legal responsibility to maintain railroads and railroad crossings in a reasonably safe manner. According to California Civil Code 1714, “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.”

A city may be liable for a dangerous condition on public property under California Government Code 835. In most circumstances railroad companies or cities have a legal obligation to construct guard gates and warning signs at railroad tracks. These crossings should have visual (flashing lights) and audible (sirens) to warn cars about oncoming trains. In addition to a lack of potential guards a number of railroad crossings have a line of sight that may be obstructed due to trees, landmarks or buildings.

The family of any victim that died in a train accident at an unguarded railroad crossing may have legal recourse through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, funeral expenses, medical bills and pain and suffering. If the victim was working at the time of an accident their family may also be entitled to death benefits through the worker’s compensation system. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations Workers Compensation Guidebook, “If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits.” A train accident attorney can investigate all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are. 

Investigating A Castroville Train Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences of Isabel Montes. Any person that may have seen the accident should reach out to the CHP as they continue their investigation. It is our sincere hope that crossing guards will be placed at this location. Measures could have easily been taken that may have prevented this tragedy. They may, in fact, prevent future accidents as well.

Have you or someone that you care about been involved in a train accident at an unguarded railroad crossing? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their legal rights so that they can make informed decisions. Whether you need a free, independent investigation into an accident or just have questions about the law we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

UPDATE: Isabel Montes Died In Castroville Train Accident While Driving Fruit Truck Through Unmarked Railroad Crossing near Highway 183 and McFadden Road

UPDATE: Isabel Montes Died In Castroville Train Accident While Driving Fruit Truck Through Unmarked Railroad Crossing near Highway 183 and McFadden Road

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