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Woman Sues Over Injuries On Amtrak Train In Crash

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An Amtrak train originating in Chicago collided with a truck in Nevada June 24, killing the driver and five people aboard the train. (Robert Hill/CNN)

An Amtrak train originating in Chicago collided with a truck in Nevada June 24, killing the driver and five people aboard the train. (Robert Hill/CNN)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — An Evanston woman is the first to file suit against a Nevada trucking company after she was injured in a deadly crash on an Amtrak train last week.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports, attorney Dan Kotin of the firm Corboy & Demetrio says it was a miracle that Alexandra Curtis, 38, wasn’t more seriously injured or even killed in the accident.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports

“I think she’s very fortunate that the timing was such that she had moved out of this one particular car, which was struck by the truck, and she was in the car behind that at the time of the impact,” Kotin said. “Otherwise, we may not be talking to her right now.”

Curtis was on duty as an Amtrak attendant this past Friday, when a truck driver disregarded lowered crossing gates and signals and crossed the tracks. He broadsided the fourth car of the train, a California Zephyr headed from Chicago to the San Francisco Bay town of Emeryville, Calif.

The truck driver, Lawrence R. Valli, 43, of Winnemuca, Nev., was among those killed.

Also killed were Francis Knox, 58, and her daughter, Karly Knox, 18, of Seward, Neb.; Cheuy Ong, 34, of West Jordan Utah; Amtrak conductor Laurette Lee, 68, , and one more unidentified person.

Valli’s driving record shows he had at least six moving violations in 2008, including four speeding tickets.

Kotin is suing the driver’s trucking firm, John Davis Trucking Co., for negligence. The lawsuit seeks more than $10,000 in damages, the Sun-Times Media Wire reported.

Curtis suffered injuries to her back and remains in the hospital.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators say they don’t expect to determine a final cause for the crash for a year to come.

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