By Michael Ehline, Esq.  – The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration will have their hands full again for quite some time. According to local rail workers and local police, another train accident involving derailed train cars and a big rig truck stalled on the tracks occurred in Kentucky yesterday afternoon, March 16, 2023.

There are about 3,000 train accidents in the US each year, and over a thousand people die due to derailments caused by negligence, including avoidable mechanical failures, poor track maintenance, and reckless speeds, to name a few items to consider as causes. The most common types of accidents are train collisions with other trains, a train derailing, or a bus or passenger car hitting a locomotive.

Federal Railroad Administration Says?

To learn more about what the Federal Railroad Administration says about the cause and any injuries, I have provided an easy-to-use link to their website. My synopsis is that this time, it happened in the town of Glendale, which is in Hardin County. The incident happened shortly before 3:00 p.m. So far, no foul play is suspected. Unlike the recent Norfolk Southern train crash in Ohio, there is no evidence these five train cars were carrying hazardous chemicals. Air monitoring has found no carbon monoxide or other irregularities either.

I am Los Angeles train accident attorney Michael Ehline. I am licensed as a member of the Texas and California State Bars. Anything I tell you about this accident in Kentucky will be based upon general law or TX and/or CA law, as exemplars, etc. I also know a little about the Canadian CTA and the US Surface Transportation Board guidelines due to the inter-country aspect of freight train activity traveling back and forth through Canada with oil, fuel, etc. Railroad safety is my expertise, so I am qualified to talk about contaminated soil, water quality (hydrogen chloride, etc.), and other aspects of a train carrying hazardous materials. I am here today to talk about who can be found liable and some tips to avoid a train accident.

According to the Kentucky State Police, an 18-wheeler drove onto the tracks and caused a train conductor to brake hard. According to the report by the train station itself, at least eight railcars came off the tracks. However, aerial footage taken by a drone showed that eight cars derailed and a semi-truck stuck on top of the tracks. The train stopped around 70 yards before it could hit the truck. The question will likely be the adequacy of insurance and why the 18-wheeler was stopped across a train track.

National Transportation Safety Board Confirmed Train Derailment

The NHTSA verified the derailment at or about. Most experts believe the train engineer was forced to brake hard on the tracks due to the towing equipment blocking the rails. The incident caused the CSX train cars to derail and scatter, causing them to hit at least one car and an antique store. Unlike the recent Norfolk Southern incidents, this train derailment carried no toxic chemicals and was apparently bringing new automobiles to market (See drone images below). The police stated that one individual suffered minor injuries and did not provide further details to our news team at Ehline Law Journal.

Who Can Be Liable For a Train Accident Generally?

In general, liability for train derailments can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. In the case at the bar, equipment is blocking the tracks. So anyone responsible for that equipment would likely face liability for property damages, personal injury, or wrongful death. But other parties could have created unsafe conditions in many ways, including the local government, the railroad company, state or federal government. It could even be a terrorist who is ultimately liable for trying to use a train like a polyvinyl chloride chemical weapon or a human wrecking machine.

Sometimes, a railroad company like Norfolk Southern may be liable for a train derailment if a judge or jury finds it, or even OSHA, FEMA, etc., that they were negligent in maintaining the tracks or equipment that failed to train or supervise their employees properly. In other cases, the cause of the derailment may be due to external factors, such as extreme weather conditions or an act of sabotage (we are in a proxy war with Russia and have a porous, dangerous Southern Border.)

As the facts grow, liability may be more challenging to determine and pin down. It could just be that their precision scheduled railroading (PSR) has a lot of flaws. This is why a train accident lawyer with experience is super important to pin down these issues and get you paid the most compensation in this way.

For example, in the recent Ohio Norfolk Southern chemical spill, the federal government ordered a controlled burn that created a toxic explosion, black plume, and toxic weather, presumably to prevent the ground water (small town, private wells, for example) quality from getting too bad by a controlled release of butyl acrylate, a known carcinogen, and these other hazardous chemicals and toxins.

The result was a catastrophic release of contaminants into the local communities, water streams, and businesses. They even called out the Ohio National Guard to give you an idea of the severity of the derailment. These long trains with even more cars create major safety issues, especially when transporting highly toxic chemicals on board with dangerous concentrations of carcinogens. Authorities are still wrangling to determine who will be held accountable for the Ohio Norfolk Southerland train derailment costs. Will it be the heads of the railroads or a combination of state, local, and private corporations like Lloyds of London footing the bill for that collision and burning?

It is also possible that multiple parties may share mutual liability (joint and several) for a train derailment, including the railroad company, the train operator, maintenance crews, or other third-party contractors, as noted above. Naturally, when someone is killed, multiple agencies may arrive at differing findings of fault in the aftermath. The push for a unified result and new regulations is critical at this juncture to ensure minimum safety issues are addressed and efficiently developed and implemented.

Ultimate Liability for the Train Cars?

Ultimately, determining liability for a train derailment will depend on a thorough investigation of the incident and the factors contributing to the train cars coming off the rails. If you have additional context or information about the 21 train car derailments you refer to, it may help provide a more definitive answer.

According to the poll data, most people think the government is doing more to ensure railway safety. We have seen major train derailments throughout the USA in the last several weeks. Republicans in congress think many of these are sabotage due to our Ukraine proxy way. Democrats say it has nothing to do with sleeper cells or our open border policies. Either way, in this case, the initial response by both sides of the aisle seems more political than helping with the nausea of this accident and the decline of railroad safety under current regulators.

According to the Hardin County Sheriff, the train was carrying new automobiles. No hazardous materials were reported to be on the train. At least we know taking a bath won’t lead to certain cancers from this crash in this town, right?

Are The Air and Water Similar To East Palestine, Ohio?

On February 16, Environmental Protection Administration Director Michael Regan visited residents. Regan said the tests included seeking out volatile chemicals to answer those questions immediately. He said they tested everything they saw from his plane. The state has advised residents living near public wells to drink bottled water until the testing of the wells begins. According to Ted Schettler, the scientist who runs the environmental nonprofit Science and Environmental Health Network, testing for VOCs should include potential risks.

“No hazardous materials” were found (Source, Hardin County Emergency Director, Joey Scott). “Please understand, there is no safety concern regarding hazardous material,” said Mr. Scott.

What Were The Five Chemicals EPA Found at the Ohio Train Crash Site?

The EPA sent several reports about hazardous chemicals in the soil, air, and water around a crash site. Some of these included isobutylene, vinyl chloride butyrolactone, and ethylene glycol.

The use of vinyl chloride has been the subject of much attention. It is a toxic and carcinogenic chemical. Studies on its effects have been linked to the exposure of workers and residents to it.

Compare the Glendale, Kentucky, in Hardin County.

One person in a car was taken to the hospital, and some train cars smashed into a building.

“One derailed car collided with an occupied vehicle near the crossing. It has been reported that the occupants have non-life threatening injuries,” according to a prepared statement by CSX Transportation officials. CSX went on to say that:

“There are no reported injuries to the crew of the train, and no hazardous materials are involved.”

CSX affirmed that crews were “working closely with local emergency responders.” They aim to discover the truth about this train derailment in Glendale. They were also working on getting the two train stops back up and running since the crash blocked the rail lines for an “extended period of time.” At least there were no toxic substances for the railroads and these clean-up companies to deal with here. But in recent years, we have seen a collapse of our infrastructure, and we must deal typically deal with the contamination threat rapidly. Transporting cargo requires dozens of industry standards to avoid water and ground contamination headaches on our exposed waterways and railways.


Based upon the fact the 18-wheeler truck caused the accident by stopping on the tracks, the transportation company and driver are likely at fault for causing the train’s cars to run off the rails. Since this is a known risk, unless the truck driver has some legal defense, the responsibility likely lies with the transportation company and its driver under ordinary negligence principles because the trucker apparently breached his duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner so as not to place others, or the environment at risk. Here, the train engineers acted rapidly and likely had no way to alter the spilling of the train cars. Their priority was to avoid crashing into the truck, causing deaths and flames from a vehicle wreck, etc.

We are lucky the EPA reported no toxic gas or chemical spill. We hope the injured victim recovers rapidly and gets maximum financial compensation for their injuries and ill health. If we missed anything or new facts have come to light, please put it in the comments if it’s worth investigating or correcting.


Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

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