Train accident: A pickup truck driver was injured Monday when a car rear-ended him and caused him to crash into a train in Hanford.
• A pickup truck was stopped in the fog, at a railroad crossing. The crossing arms down and the lights flashing.
• A car come up behind the truck and crashed into it, pushing the truck through the crossing and into a moving freight train.
• The truck driver escaped with relatively minor injuries.
California Highway Patrol Officer Jerry Pierce said a 1995 GMC Sonoma pickup truck driven 26-year-old Laton resident Alonso Lopez stopped for a train at a railroad crossing at Kansas and South 10th avenues.
The crossing arms were down and the lights were flashing at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad crossing, the Hanford Sentinel reported.
While the truck was stopped, 21-year-old Catalina Audelos of Corcoran approached the crossing. With visibility of about 200 feet, Audelos apparently did not see the truck soon enough and crashed into it from behind.
The impact pushed the pickup truck through the crossing and into the side of the moving freight train.
Lopez suffered facial lacerations and other “minor injuries.” Audelos complained of neck pain.
The CHP did not say how fast Audelos was traveling when she slammed into the pickup truck. The accident is under investigation.
Ask the Personal Injury Lawyer:
What is a minor injury?
Police and firefighter classifications of “minor injuries” can be misleading. Even a so-called “minor” injury may be far more serious than it initially appears and can have a major impact on the victim’s life. Some injuries aren’t even evident until days or weeks after an accident.
Injuries that are designated as “minor” may include whiplash, strains, sprains, lacerations, and bone fractures. All of these types of injuries may vary in severity.
* Whiplash, for example, is neck injury caused by sudden jerking or “whipping” of the head, as often occurs in car accidents, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It may not be noticed for several days, yet it can cause stiffness and numbness in the head, neck, back, shoulders, and arms. The initial symptoms may appear to go away and then return for months or even years, according to the NIH report.
* Strains and sprains are soft tissue injuries. Strains can cause pain, muscle spasms, swelling, and trouble moving the muscle, according to the NIH. Sprains involve pain, swelling, bruising, and being unable to move the joint. Initial treatment often requires taking time off work to rest the injury, sometimes followed by longer-term physical therapy.
* Lacerations include cuts, tears, and puncture wounds. A variety of factors determine how quickly a laceration may heal. Infection is always a risk with a laceration, and this risk can be particularly dangerous for diabetics. Even minor lacerations may cause permanent scars.
* Bone fractures are very common in car accidents. They can be extremely painful, and may involve swelling, bruising, or bleeding as well as numbness, tingling, and the inability to move a limb. Some fractures require surgery to implant plates, pins, or screws to keep the bone in place. The impact of a fracture on daily activities is immediate and often disabling. Follow-up surgery and physical therapy may stretch the recovery period to months.
Hanford Car Accident Lawyers
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