A man has filed a wrongful death suit against a railway company and an engineer for the fatal personal injuries his wife and unborn child suffered after being struck by a train.


On August 20, Matthew S. Balven filed suit in Illinois’ Madison County Circuit Court against Kansas City Southern Railway Company and Kathy M. Richardson.


Balven claims that on March 12, his wife, Heather S. Balven was eastbound in a 2008 Ford F-150 pick-up truck near a railroad crossing, while at the same time Richardson was engineering an Amtrak train north on railroad tracks controlled by Kansas City Southern.


According to the suit, the train collided with the pick-up truck at or near a crossing. At the time of the incident, Heather Balven was approximately three months pregnant with Morgan A. Balven.


The suit claims the accident caused Heather Balven fatal injuries.


Matthew Balven claims his wife’s death has caused him to incur funeral expenses and lose his wife’s society, companionship, love, affection, guidance, economic support, emotional support, and consortium.


The suit also claims that Heather Balven’s next-of-kin have endured grief, sorrow, and mental suffering.


Matthew Balven alleges negligence on the part of Kansas City Southern for failure to maintain the crossing and its right-of-way in a safe manner, failure to provide adequate warning devices at the crossing, failure to maintain adequate and safe sight distances for motorists driving on the road leading to the crossing, and failure to properly clear the right-of-way of foliage, brush, trees, and other growth. He alleges negligence on the part of Richardson for failure to maintain a proper lookout and failure to provide a timely warning of the train’s approach.


Matthew Balven seeks damages in excess of $200,000, plus costs, from the four-count suit.

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