The versatile musician and member of the Las Vegas band “Jersey Boys,” Jeff Ray, died in a train accident which allegedly occurred as he stood on the tracks to take a photograph with Washington’s Mt. Rainier in the background. The accident took place in Auburn, a suburb of Seattle, and involved a Burlington Northern Santa Fe line on which an Amtrak train was traveling at around 79 miles per hour, according to reports.
According to police reports, Ray, 42, was posing on the railroad tracks while someone took a photo of him with the famous mountain in the background. He was visiting Washington to play a casino lounge gig with another group called The Jone$. Ray’s group, “Jersey Boys,” has been based in Las Vegas since 2010 and regularly plays at Paris Las Vegas. Ray played both drums and guitar and was a jazz guitar teacher at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
At the time of the accident, Ray and a manager who was traveling with the band had apparently gotten onto the tracks by using an open crossing on C Street Southwest in Auburn. A BNSF spokesperson says that this is technically trespassing and is prohibited to keep people from being injured. Trains can travel these tracks at any time of the day or night and may be moving in any direction and at high rates of speed. For this reason, walking or standing on the tracks is prohibited.
The Amtrak train traveling on the tracks at the time of the crash was carrying around 130 passengers on its way from the city of Portland, Oregon, to Seattle. After the accident, buses took some passengers to Seattle while others waited for the train to move.
“Track” Record for Train Accidents is Deadly
According to BNSF reports, this is the second fatality so far on tracks in Washington this year; there were 20 total fatalities last year. Some of these fatalities were no doubt suicides, but some were accidental, and possibly preventable, deaths.
Many people killed by trains are pedestrians, as in this case. Other fatalities occur when cars stop or get stuck on tracks. A surprising number of fatalities occur when a driver attempts to cross train tracks in front of an oncoming train, believing he or she can “beat” the train across. However, railroads also have a responsibility to make it possible for pedestrians and cars to safely cross tracks and can be held accountable if someone is hurt.
Bernstein and Poisson are ready to help accident victims recover monetary damages for their injuries, pain and suffering. If you have been the victim of an accident involving a train, you may be entitled to payment of compensation for these expenses.