ROGERS vs. PACIFIC RAILROAD: CASE SUMMARY
At about 12:15 p.m. on July 17, Yr-3, Alan Rogers was struck and killed by a Pacific Railroad passenger train. He and his sister-in-law, Leigh Ryan, were surveying land near the track close to the Ojai crossing. They were working at the request of Jesse Braun, owner of the adjacent property. Braun was in a long-standing feud with Pacific. Both Ryan and Braun were present when the accident occurred. Ryan had contacted a Pacific safety officer earlier in the day. The surveyors had not taken all the precautions suggested by the safety officer.
The train was being operated by an engineer, Tony Thompson, and a fireman, Marti Cash. Braun said that the train was speeding. Immediately after the accident, Cash stated that Thompson had been working overtime and looked tired. Braun said he smelled alcohol on Thompson and found a whiskey bottle in the engine’s cab. The track was straight and clear for one-half mile before the point of impact.
Ryan said that Rogers was looking through his transit near the track when the train hit him. The Pacific employees said Rogers suddenly walked up on to the track before he was hit. Braun was using a chain saw cutting brush and the noise probably prevented Rogers from hearing the train or Ryan’s warnings.
Rogers’ skull was fractured. He is survived by his widow and three small children. Until the accident, his widow had never worked outside the home.