The father of a Vernon teenager killed by a train is suing Amtrak.
Michael Pratt filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the passenger rail service as well as New England Central Railroad and the conductor and engineer on duty at the time of the accident.
Pratt’s son, 15-year-old Eric Pratt, was hit by a train in January at a crossing at the intersection of Route 142 and Bemis Road in Vernon.
According to the lawsuit, Eric Pratt was walking north on the side of Route 142 when he turned onto Bemis road, entered the rail crossing and was struck “without warning.”
The crossing lacked gates or flashing lights to warn of an approaching train, according to the lawsuit. The complaint also charges that the train crew did not “sound a proper horn warning,” keep a careful lookout, or slow the train down to avoid hitting Pratt.
The filing also claims the railroad failed to clear vegetation from around the crossing, to provide adequate sightlines around it, and to properly mark the crossing. It also argues that dangers at the crossing were not properly evaluated, leading to a design that was not “safe and reasonable.”
The lawsuit seeks medical and funeral expenses along with damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and any other remedies the court might find “just, equitable and proper.” No specific dollar amount is listed.
Pratt’s lawyer, Burlington attorney Robert Behrens, and representatives of Amtrak could not be reached for comment Friday.
The Vermonter train from Washington, D.C., to St. Albans was carrying 141 passengers at the time of the fatal event.
Nobody on the train was hurt.MORE IN This Just In
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.