Children sue CSX over deadly train collision

Ann Knef Jan. 23, 2007, 11:03am

The surviving children of a Waterloo couple killed in a train collision just outside Collinsville last summer have filed suit against CSX Transportation.

Challis Dale, 49, and Susan Irion, 45, were towing an empty horse trailer southbound on Rader Ranch Road at a CSX railroad crossing just south of Morrison Ave., when they were struck and killed by an eastbound train on Aug. 16, 2006, according to a complaint filed Jan. 18 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Heather, Cody and Jeremy Irion claim CSX is negligent for failing to sound a whistle in a timely manner, operating the train at an excessive speed, failing to apply emergency brakes and failing to issue slow orders or other warnings to crew members, among other things.

They also claim the railroad failed to post adequate warnings for the public about the possible approach of trains in the area and failed to remove vegetation and other obstructions from its right of way so as to allow motorists approaching the crossing the ability to see approaching trains.

Represented by Charles W. Armbruster III and Michael T. Blotevogel of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, the Irion children are seeking in excess of $100,000 pursuant to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and the Survival Act.

"Plaintiffs' decedents suffered extreme pain, mental anguish and eventually died from their injuries," the complaint states.

"Plaintiffs have suffered a loss of anticipated services and support, loss of companionship and love of their parents," the complaint states. "Plaintiffs have suffered a destruction of the parent-child relationship."

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