War woman blames Norfolk Southern for son's injuries

By Kyla Asbury | May 21, 2015

WELCH – A War woman is suing Norfolk Southern Railway Company for injuries her son sustained from being struck by a train.

Michael Bailey and the City of War were also named as defendants in the suit.

Carrie Muncy's residence is located beside the railroad tracks owned by Norfolk and she and her family have to cross the tracks to access the public road, according to a complaint filed in McDowell Circuit Court.

Muncy claims Chris Collins Jr., her son, and other children in the area had to cross the tracks to ride the school bus.

There are numerous and highly visible sets of stairs and well-worn paths on both sides of the railroad tracks, which are used by area residents to cross the railroad tracks to access the public roadway from their homes, according to the suit.

Muncy claims the regular use of the paths and stairs adjacent to the railroad tracks by the residents in the area was known or should have been known to the defendants.

Despite this known hazard and nuisance, there were not adequate warnings or other protective measures to deter or prevent residents from walking along and crossing the tracks, nor other means provided to access the public road in a safe manner or to reduce the risk of harm to residents in the area, according to the suit.

Muncy claims on June 1, at approximately 9 p.m., a Norfolk Southern train loaded with coal was traveling eastbound on the railroad tracks and when crossing through the public crossings, the engineer did not blow the train's horn.

The train was traveling at an unsafe rate of speed given that the train was approaching and driving through a residential area where residents, including children, routinely walked along the railroad tracks and crossed the railroad tracks, according to the suit.

Muncy claims as the train approached her residence, the engineer saw Collins near the railroad tracks, but did not blow the horn or ring the engine bell to warn him that the train was approaching.

While the train passed in front of Muncy's residence, Collins was struck by a part of the train or an object protruding from the train and Muncy later found her son alongside the railroad tracks, according to the suit.

Muncy claims her son sustained multiple serious injuries, including trauma to the skull resulting in swelling of the brain, seizures, facial and neck fractures and an internal artery occlusion.

Muncy is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by H. Truman Chafin and Letitia Neese Chafin of the H. Truman Chafin Law Firm PLLC; and Thomas R. Goodwin, Susan C. Wittemeier and W. Jeffrey Vollmer of Goodwin & Goodwin LLP.

Norfolk is represented by J.H. Majaney, Angela Konrad and Matthew Lockhart of Dinsmore & Shohl.

The City of War is represented by Kevin J. Robinson of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe.

McDowell Circuit Court case number: 15-C-34

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