Shafter Amtrak train collision leaves 1 dead

Posted: May 19, 2022

SHAFTER, CA (May 19, 2022) – A train collided with a pickup truck on Friday, May 13, leaving one person dead and three others injured.

The crash involved an Amtrak train and pickup truck occurred around 2:00 p.m. on Santa Fe Way between Orange and Burbank streets. When the two vehicles collided, the pickup truck burst into flames as the Amtrak train continued to drag the truck some distance.

The train was carrying 137 passengers and was headed from Bakersfield to Oakland.

An off-duty Shafter police officer who happened to be at the scene tried to help the passengers of the pickup truck, but the vehicle was too hot to approach. One person inside died and the other three were injured.

The train passengers suffered only minor injuries and were ushered out of the train cars into a cemetery, where they waited as busses arrived to shuttle them to their original destination.

Only the portion of the train that collided with the truck sustained damage. The train was also in push mode, which meant the train’s locomotive engine was at the rear of the train pushing it forward.

The identity of the decedent is still unknown, as is the condition and names of the others in the pickup truck.

Liability In Shafter Car Accidents

Despite improved safety measures for cars, motor vehicle accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injury and death in the United States.  According to the CDC, “more than 32,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured each year from motor vehicle crashes.” There are a number of factors that could potentially contribute to a car accident including:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Inclement weather
  • Dangerous turns
  • Poorly designed roadways

All drivers have a legal obligation to exercise due care in order to avoid causing accidents. This is especially true for commercial drivers that work for a city. A number of collisions are due to drivers that make dangerous left turns. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code 21801, the driver of any vehicle intending to turn left must yield the right of way traveling from the opposite direction close enough to pose a hazard.

If a negligent driver worked for a city, that city could potentially be liable in the event of an accident. Generally speaking, employers are vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. There are a number of steps that should be taken after a car accident.

  • Photos of the accident site should be taken.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • A thorough independent investigation should be conducted.

The family of any victim that has died in a car accident may have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses. It is essential that evidence is properly preserved after a car accident. A car accident attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating A Shafter Car Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of the person who was killed in the pickup truck. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to the police. A thorough investigation must be conducted for the sake of all who have lost so much.

Do you need more information about a Shafter car accident? Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that negligent drivers are held to account for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.


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