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Lakeland, FL - 8 Injured When Amtrak Train Collided With a Semi-Truck at Canal Avenue North

Lakeland, FL - 8 Injured When Amtrak Train Collided With a Semi-Truck at Canal Avenue North
Published: July 18, 2023
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on July 18, 2023

Eight Injured as Semi-Truck Collides with Amtrak Train in Florida

WTSP reported on a tragic accident that occurred on Friday night, July 14, 2023. The collision between a semi-truck and an Amtrak train in Lakeland resulted in eight individuals being rushed to the hospital, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Fortunately, no severe injuries were reported.

The incident unfolded when a semi-truck hauling seven cars became immobilized on a train track at Canal Avenue North, just south of US 92. Authorities revealed that Amtrak Train 92, en route from Miami to New York, had recently departed from the Lakeland Amtrak station and was hurtling towards Canal Avenue North at a speed of 78 mph.

Sensing the impending danger, the train's alert engineer, Ronald Webb, promptly sounded the horn, attempting to warn the semi-truck driver. Concurrently, the crossing arms and lights activated, engaging with the truck's trailer. Recognizing the imminent collision, the truck driver, Walberto Carrazana Bermudez, and his passenger, Jose Luis Lahera Vidal, swiftly exited the vehicle just before impact.

Despite the attempts to avert disaster, the collision between the train and the stranded semi-truck could not be prevented. The force of the impact propelled the train forward for approximately 200 yards before finally grinding to a halt. As a result of the collision, the front portion of the lead engine derailed, leading to a minor diesel fuel leak.

The Amtrak train, accommodating a total of 163 passengers and 10 crew members, was promptly evacuated and relocated to a safe location until alternative transportation could be arranged to Tampa. Eight individuals with minor injuries were treated at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and are expected to recover fully, as confirmed by fire officials during a press conference held on Friday evening. Fortunately, no other injuries were reported among the train's occupants.

Sheriff Grady Judd expressed his gratitude that the incident did not result in more severe consequences, stating, "It is truly a miracle that nobody was seriously hurt in this crash. A collision between a passenger train and a semi-truck could have been much worse." He extended sympathies to those injured and commended the coordinated response and collaborative efforts of all the agencies involved.

Following a thorough investigation, the semi-truck driver, Walberto Carrazana Bermudez, was issued a citation for insufficient clearance at a railroad crossing. Meanwhile, initial estimates provided by officials indicate that the collision has caused significant damage, with costs ranging between $6 and 10 million. The damages encompass the train, tracks, CSX property, cleanup expenses, and losses incurred due to track downtime.

Michael Haggard Florida Lawyer
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Truck Accident Attorney Reveals Accident Victims' Right

In the wake of the recent collision between a semi-truck and an Amtrak train in Lakeland, we have had the opportunity to speak with esteemed truck accident attorney, Mike Haggard, Esq. Based in Florida, Mr. Haggard sheds light on how accident victims can seek compensation when injured in a train accident.

Darla Medina (DM): Good morning, Mr. Haggard, thank you for joining us.

Mike Haggard (MH): Good morning, Darla. It's my pleasure to be here.

DM: With eight individuals injured in this unfortunate incident, many may be wondering about their legal options. In general, what can train or truck accident victims do in a civil case against the parties responsible for the accident?

MH: That's an important question, Darla. In cases like this, victims may have grounds to pursue a civil case against the liable parties. The first step is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in truck accidents. They will assess the details of the case, gather evidence, and determine who may be held responsible for the accident.

DM: What factors would typically contribute to liability in a truck or train accident case?

MH: Liability in such accidents can be complex and involve multiple parties. In this particular case, potential liable parties could include the truck driver, the trucking company, and even the manufacturer of the truck or its components if there was a mechanical failure. Additionally, if any negligence or wrongdoing was involved, it could further impact liability.

DM: How can accident victims seek compensation for their injuries and damages?

MH: In a civil case, accident victims can seek compensation for various damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage. An experienced attorney will work to build a strong case, negotiate with the insurance companies, and if necessary, proceed to litigation to ensure their clients receive fair compensation.

DM: Are there any time limitations for accident victims to file a civil case?

MH: Absolutely. It's crucial for accident victims to be aware of the statute of limitations, which sets a specific time frame within which they must file a lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including truck accidents, is generally four years from the date of the accident. However, it's best not to wait and consult an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.

DM: Thank you, Mr. Haggard, for shedding light on the legal aspects of truck accident cases. Do you have any final words for our readers?

MH: My pleasure, Darla. I urge anyone involved in a train or truck accident to seek legal counsel promptly. Skilled attorneys can guide victims through the legal process, fight for their rights, and help them obtain the compensation they deserve. Remember, time is of the essence, so don't hesitate to reach out to an attorney.



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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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