The family of a young dance instructor who was killed when a train crashed into her vehicle at a crossing where the warning signals had been turned off has reached a $6 million settlement in its wrongful death lawsuit. Katie Ann Lunn, 26, was driving over the railroad tracks on April 16, 2010 when an Amtrak train traveling 79 mph crashed into her SUV. An investigation found that the warning signals had been deactivated by maintenance workers.
The wrongful-death lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Illinois Central Railroad Co. and Wisconsin Central Ltd. in July 2010. The settlement was reached one day after a trial started in the case. A crew performing maintenance on the crossing had neglected to turn the signals back on. An investigation by the Federal Railroad Administration found that crossing gates, flashing lights and warning bells had mistakenly been disabled before the crash. Illinois Central Railroad said in a statement that it took responsibility for “improper operation of the Stuenkel Road crossing gates … which resulted in Ms. Lunn’s death.”
Ms. Lunn taught at the Joffrey Ballet School and the School of Performing Arts in Naperville. She also performed with the Hip Hop ConnXion in Chicago and the Chicago Dance Theater. The night she was killed, Ms. Lunn was driving home after watching her students perform in a competition at Governors State University. Proceeds from the settlement will help support the Keep the Smile Alive Katie Lunn Fund, founded by Ms. Lunn’s family in her memory. Michael Demetrio, a lawyer with the Chicago firm of Corboy & Demetrio, represented the Lunn family and did a very good job.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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