Train Accident Shows Danger of Pedestrian Headphone Use

In a tragic accident over the weekend, a 59-year-old man was hit and killed by a train in Germantown.

When officers arrived, the man was found wearing shorts and a t-shirt with no identification on him.

A release from the city states the man was jogging on the train tracks westbound with headphones in his ears playing music. The train engineer allegedly sounded the horn multiple times and then applied his emergency brake. But the jogger didn’t appear to hear the warnings. Moments later, the train struck the man and killed him instantly.

This is the second person killed by a train in the Memphis area in the past month.

From the details of this case, it looks like liability is probably on the jogger. If you wear headphones in public or use your phone while crossing the street, you have to take reasonable responsibility for your surroundings. You have to heed warnings like horns.

But it’s not always the pedestrian’s fault, of course. Drivers and train engineers have more power and thus more liability. The law expects us to warn pedestrians and avoid injuring them, even if they’re distracted.

When contemplating a big crash like this, there are some questions we ask in personal injury law:

  • Did the train engineer blow his or her horn?
  • Did the train horn malfunction?
  • Was there a railroad malfunction at the crossing?

There are a lot of factors at play here, and if you find yourself in a situation like this contemplating how your loved one was hurt, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.

The right attorney will thoroughly investigate every little detail of the case and find the liability. Then, depending on the liability, there may be compensation for damages.

To set up a free consultation with an experienced Memphis personal injury attorney, call (901) 327-1212 or fill out the contact form on this page.

Be aware and use caution around train tracks. And remember: we’re on your side and available if you ever need us.