Family thinks UTA is to blame after Murray man’s wheelchair gets caught on tracks

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MURRAY, Utah -- The family of a man in a wheelchair who was hit and killed by a Trax train in Murray on Friday say they believe UTA may be to blame.

The victim in this case is 61-year-old Donald Brown. He lived just a few blocks from the crossing at 4500 South and 300 West.

"They need to fix that area, it could have been prevented," said Donald's daughter, Tammi Brown.

Tammi Brown is referring to a gap located on the pedestrian walkway at the railroad crossing where her father was killed on his motorized wheelchair.

"He was just going out for a nightly stroll and unfortunately from what we heard is the wheel got stuck in the tracks and he tried to get up to get out of the way of the train and fell onto the tracks and got hit," Tammi Brown said.

Donald Brown's girlfriend of eight years was walking alongside him at the time.

"From what I heard she tried to help him but wasn't able to because she is quite small herself. You know, she couldn't get him out of the way," Tammi Brown said.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but the Brown family says when they visited the crossing, this gap clearly jumped out to them as a danger.

"They should fix that because it could happen to anybody, a little child's foot could get stuck there, a little stroller," Tammi Brown said.

Donald Brown suffered from Parkinson's disease and had been using a wheelchair for the past year, but his family says he never lost his independence.

"He just tried to be strong, not be so negative about it, because he knew that there was nothing he could do about it," Tammi Brown said.

According to family, Donald Brown was also an army veteran, and had 10 children, 17 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

"I'm very proud of my dad he will be missed, he was my best friend and I saw him almost every day, and now it's just so hard not being able to see him," Tammi Brown said.

The Brown family said they have hired an attorney and could be seeking legal action against UTA.

UTA officials say they can't say much because the investigation is still on going. However, they did have crews at the crossing immediately following the crash and the crews determined all the safety requirements at that crossing are being met.

8 comments

  • Mimi

    Oh yes, It’s always UTA’s fault because they are ones with the money and then you can sue them for a million dollars. Regardless of whether it is actually their fault.

    • Tessa

      What is wrong with you? They aren’t blaming uta!! There saying they should fix the issue before some else gets hurt. And someone actually sues them. There not suing them get the facts and story straight before jumping and listening to everything the news says. A lot of the time they put words in peoples mouths or take it the wrong way. Think before speaking thank. I know the family and they don’t need you negative input thanks..

      • ken

        Title of article says family thinks UTA is to blame. Then you say get your facts straight the family isn’t blaming UTA. Maybe you better get with fox and have them get the facts straight. All us who are not related only have the article to go off of. Of course it’s a sad situation but is UTA at fault? Absolutely not! Family wants to blame someone else for a freak accident tragedy and get rich while doing it.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        The title of this is story reads “Family thinks UTA is to blame” Tessa. Yes the accident was tragic. No, the UTA is not negligent. There is a reason why motorcyclists, bicyclists, and people in wheel chairs should cross the tracks in a perpendicular direction. This was a freak accident honey, and no one was negligent.

  • Cornelius

    It was only a matter of time before they decided to get some money for what they previously called a “freak accident.” Maybe there is a safety issue with the gap, but I would have to see pictures of where the gap is and how the wheel was caught to agree with them.

  • bob

    They put the trains on the surface streets, among traffic and pedestrians, because it was CHEAPER than elevated trains or subways. It has been a very predictable bloodbath ever since.

    Of COURSE wheelchairs and strollers are going to get stuck. Duh. The trains have TRACKS. They don’t levitate. That has been obvious from the beginning.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      How does the UTA “bloodbath” compare to the automobile “bloodbath” Bob? Very seldom do you hear stories to trains jumping the tracks and chasing you down the street.
      Trains are like firearms Bob. Treat them with respect and you’ll probably live to see tomorrow.

    • DESCONOCIDO

      Bob doesn’t live in the real world. Maybe would should put automobile traffic on elevated streets Bob.

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