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Kansas man injured in train derailment hires Chicago law firm

Amtrak NTSB train derail Mendon crash 6.png
Posted at 6:50 PM, Jun 29, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas family who were passengers in Monday’s train derailment near Mendon, Missouri, has retained a Chicago law firm to represent them.

On Wednesday, the law firm told the KSHB 41 I-Team that Jason Drinkard and his family retained Clifford Law Offices, which is based in Chicago.

KSHB 41 News interviewed Drinkard about the crash both Monday and Tuesday.

“It was surreal,” Drinkard said Monday. “You see movies that have it and there’s no way to accurately describe it.”

Four people died in the crash. Three were on the train and one was driving a dump truck involved in the crash.

Authorities estimated that as many as 150 people were sent to 10 Missouri hospitals for treatment of injuries sustained in the incident.

Drinkard and his family were not physically injured beyond bumps and bruises, but Wednesday he said they were still processing what happened.

“We felt the impact,” Drinkard said shortly after the crash. “My mind was saying I can’t believe this is actually happening. Everything else was just slow motion. It’s dust filled in the car. At that moment, you’re just trying to get everyone out of the car as quickly as possible."

Clifford Law Offices partner Kristofer Riddle said the combination of the passive railroad crossing and a high-speed passenger train is dangerous.

“Not only was a derailment like this likely, it was fully anticipated that this is absolutely forseeable, which means that this is something that should have been prevented,” Riddle said.

Clifford Law Offices has handled similar cases, such as a 2021 Amtrak derailment in Montana and a 2017 Amtrak derailment in Washington State.

KSHB 41 reached out to BNSF, the company that owns that railway, and Amtrak and have not yet heard back.