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Railroad Suit Pending In Court
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Filing suit previously against the cities of Riverbank and Modesto, Stanislaus County and both Amtrak and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the remaining family members of six accident victims claim the lack of safety features at the crossing was a contributing factor to the fatal crash. The complaint, filed Lucio Rodriguez, is now in U.S. District Court in Fresno.

Published reports indicate that at issue is the Claribel Road and Terminal Avenue crossing in Riverbank, which plaintiffs charge lacks safety features, creating 'dangerous conditions' at the location.

Six people were killed in the crash in May, 2007. The SUV being driven by victim Maricruz Corral - the wife of Rodriguez -stopped at a posted stop sign but with the front of the vehicle edging out onto the tracks. With an Amtrak train approaching, Corral attempted to back her vehicle up but traffic was already in line behind her. The crossing arm came down, struck her windshield and went back up and that's when Corral - according to witnesses at the scene at the time - pulled forward in an apparent attempt to get across the tracks but was struck by the fast-approaching train, traveling an estimated 70 mph.

Corral and her sons, ages three and five, were killed along with a Modesto woman, her young son and teenage niece.

Following the fatal accident, the Public Utilities Commission made recommendations for changes at the crossing, which Rodriguez and his attorneys say have not been followed. Rodriguez is seeking monetary damages for his losses; that of his wife and two sons.