Amtrak Sues Truck Firm for Fatal Collision

LAS VEGAS (CN) – Amtrak has sued the trucking company whose driver plowed a big rig into a moving train last week, killing six and injuring dozens in the high desert 70 miles east of Reno.

     The late Lawrence Ruben Valli II, a driver for John Davis Trucking Co., “failed to heed the warnings, crossing protection controls and the locomotive horn,” before “broadsiding” a passenger car on June 24, according to the federal complaint.
     Valli, the train conductor, and at least four other people were killed. Dozens were injured.
     Amtrak says that the crossing’s flashing lights, gates and gongs were all activated and the locomotive sounded its horn, but Valli “failed to heed the warnings” and drove his Peterbilt tractor trailer into the train.
     Amtrak claims the property damages alone will come to more than $10 million. It also lost use of the track and train cars, and service interruption, not to mention the loss of life.
     Amtrak, officially known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp., seeks damages for negligence.
     Valli, 43, drove his truck loaded with 20 tons of gravel into the California Zephyr, according to news reports, which also claim he had been cited repeatedly for speeding and other moving violations.
     Amtrak is represented by John D. Moore with the Law Office of Michael B. Springer, in Reno.

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