Parents File Negligence Lawsuit After the Daughter’s Railroad Death

Parents File Negligence Lawsuit After the Daughter’s Railroad Death

The parents of a 10-year-old Colorado girl who died in a train accident last year filed a lawsuit against their town, the railroad company, the train conductor, and the engineer.

Nikki and Clay Christensen seek compensation for damages suffered as a result of their daughter's death as well as burial costs and “exemplary damages” intended to punish defendants or deter them from similar behavior.

In July 2005, Stormy Christensen and her cousin, Samantha Williams, were on their way home from a candy story in Hudson. According to the lawsuit, Stormy ran across the tracks to try to beat the train.

Stormy was struck by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train and thrown to the other side of the tracks. The young girl died at the scene of the accident.

The lawsuit alleges the train company neglected to follow train safety precautions by “failure to properly sound the train's horn/whistle prior to the collision.”

According to the suit, the train company should have predicted that young children “because of their lack of experience, their feelings of infallibility, their psychologically immature state of mind, and their inability to appreciate time, space, distance and speed, ran across the tracks to ‘beat a train.'”

For those reasons, the complaint states the train operators should have been more careful.

Furthermore, according to a Hudson Elementary School teacher, students regularly crossed the railroad tracks to travel to and from school. Sometimes, they even went under stationary cars, the teacher said.

The lawsuit claims the town failed to install a safety barrier or gate to keep children away from the railroad tracks. “The town of Hudson knew, or should have known, that children such as Stormy were crossing the railroad tracks…when trains were approaching, notwithstanding that the train whistle was blown and the gate arms were coming down,” the suit claims.

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