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Family of De Soto, Kansas, woman killed in Amtrak derailment files wrongful death lawsuit

Amtrak NTSB train derail Mendon crash 2.png
Posted at 8:10 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 15:17:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The family of a De Soto, Kansas, woman who died after a train derailed in a crash near Mendon, Missouri, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Rachelle Cook was on board the Southwest Chief when it crashed into a dump truck.

Cook boarded the train along with her sister, mother and daughter in Kansas City, Missouri. Cook's family members were also seriously injured.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Chariton County Circuit Court, names MS Contracting LLC, BNSF Railway Company and Mariano Rodriguez as defendants.

It alleges that BSNF failed to adequately inspect and maintain the track and the crossing, among other things.

The lawsuit claims MS Contracting, who owned the truck that collided with the Amtrak, failed to operate the dump truck with reasonable care.

It also claims MS failed to adequately train, test and supervise the driver, among other things.

Billy Barton II was identified as the driver of the truck and his widow has also filed a lawsuit in the incident.

Against Rodriguez, who is a BNSF Roadmaster, the lawsuit alleges he was careless and negligent.

The lawsuit claims Rodriguez failed to inspect and maintain the crossing in a safe and reasonable condition.

Specifically, it cites a sharp angle and steep incline at the crossing, among other things.