Woman files suit over crash at BNSF crossing

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 3, 2012, 4:55am

GALVESTON - Texas City resident Rosalind Jones claims she was in a collision at a railroad crossing in Richmond two years ago and has filed suit against the other driver and the railroad.

Jones is suing OTHEX Rail Recovery Inc., Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., Parker County native Robert Steven Hill and Kountze resident Jack Ruggles over the two-vehicle accident that occurred on March 23, 2010, in Galveston County District Court.

According to the suit filed March 23, the plaintiff was traveling west on FM 1640 when she came upon the BNSF track.

She alleges neither a gate nor a signal activated, so she began to proceed over the crossing. According to the suit, she was suddenly hit by a low boy trailer being pushed backwards by a pickup truck belonging to OTHEX and operated by Hill.

The suit adds Ruggles served as a flag man "but was not in the proper area to flag to Jones to avoid proceeding over the crossing."

Jones insists there were no active warning devices at the time of the event in question and "the crossing has generally obstructed views and is extra hazardous."

She had no "reasonable opportunity" to avoid the collision as Hill failed to sound his horn as he came upon the crossing, the suit claims.

The defendants are accused of failing to clear trees, bushes, weeds or other vegetation that obstructed the view of approaching trains by motorists such as Jones.

Jones, who is representing herself, seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-571

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