Regional Transit Facing Lawsuit over Fatal Collision

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RANCHO CORDOVA-

As a new family grieves a life lost on Regional Transit tracks in Rancho Cordova, a family whose similar struggle happened just nine months and a few blocks away is seeking help they believe can only come from the courts.

"Sometimes, if you just ask for an injunction and nothing else happens they'll send you an apology and nothing. If there are monetary damages it sends home the message, 'this is not just some simple matter you can brush away,'" attorney Ernest Chen said.

The matter attorney Chen believes RT has brushed away is the life of Yong Sin Day.

She was killed Feb. 7 on her way home from work - hit by an eastbound train just after leaving her own train and crossing over the light rail tracks to exit the Cordova station.

Chen's suing Regional Transit for wrongful death on behalf of Day's daughter, Yumee Yu.

Now Yu is the only surviving member of her family as a result of the crash.

The suit alleges excessive speed by the train operator and claims that a horn and flashing lights aren't enough to save lives - especially in the kind of rainy, windy conditions that may have kept Day from hearing them.

He says much more needs to be done.

"Perhaps if the train was required to slow down to a crawl,  maybe five miles a hour, so at least if there's an impending collision pedestrians can get away," he said.

In the case of the latest tragedy on the tracks, RT says it's surveillance video shows 15-year-old Mariah Burgess was running toward the train that killed her Thursday while wearing earbuds.

With another fatal accident happening the week that he filed suit, Chen says RT can't ignore that the position it's putting riders in doesn't make sense.

"The problem is if an RT train is traveling at 35 miles per hour, that average out to 51 feet per second. And  if you've got 100 feet between you and the train and you finally realize that there's light or horns...you only have less than two seconds to get away," he said.

RT has not yet been served with the lawsuit over Day's death.