A Lecompton couple whose son was killed by a train in 2011 filed a lawsuit last week in Douglas County against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, or BNSF.
Thomas and Laury Snyder's son Kyle, 22, died on Feb. 4, 2011, when his northbound pickup collided with the eastbound BNSF train at the crossing at East 950 Road, northwest of Lawrence. The crossing has a sign but no flashing lights or gates.
Authorities said icy and snowpacked conditions contributed to the crash, and the train’s engineer and conductor said the pickup was unable to stop at the crossing and slid in front of the train.
The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of BNSF, such as failure to put flashing lights at the intersection and a failure by railroad conductors to give a proper noise warnings as they approached the intersection.
After their son’s death, the Snyders urged officials to make the crossing safer. In September, state, county and BNSF Railway Co. officials reached an agreement that will put signals and gates at the track crossing.
Thomas Snyder said the goal of the lawsuit is to hold BSNF accountable for their failure to make the intersection safer.
A spokesman for BNSF declined comment, citing the pending litigation.