Train driver receives compensation
A train driver who suffered a nervous breakdown after he was involved in a fatal collision on a railway crossing has received a substantial sum in compensation.
ASLEF member David Jarrad, 56, from Hull suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and permanent phobic anxiety after the accident in June 2005 when his train hit a car crossing the line between Thorne and Goole.
The driver of the car did not survive but the courts found he had caused the accident.
It was Mr Jarrad’s third fatal collision. The two previous incidents were suicide victims who had thrown themselves in front of his train in 1996 and 1999.
After the third incident Mr Jarrad tried to continue driving for Northern Rail for 18 months but the psychological effects of dealing with the incident caught up with him and he ended up taking an overdose. His condition by then had become so bad that he suffered panic attacks when near a train.
Mr Jarrad has since retrained as a care assistant but despite having worked in the railway industry, since he was 20 and qualified as a driver in 1993 he is still so anxious around trains he can no longer travel in them.
Mr Jarrad who had expected to continue as a driver until he retired at 65 said: “I loved working in the railways and enjoyed my job as a driver. After the accident I carried on as normal. I thought I was ok but things caught up with me in February 2007 when I overdosed.
“I’m now working as a care assistant, a job I really enjoy, but I still can’t face travelling on trains and become upset if I see programmes about them on tv.
“Changing profession has meant taking a large pay cut but there is no way I could have continued working in the railways.”
Mr Jarrad's trade union, ASLEF, instructed their lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation against the insurers of the car driver. While the insurers admitted liability they denied the driver had caused the accident and the case went to trial at Kingston Upon Hull County Court.
The judge agreed that the driver had caused the accident and therefore his insurers were liable to pay compensation.
ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman said, “This case shows the impact fatal collisions have not only on the car passengers but also on the train drivers who are left dealing with the fall out long after the crash has been cleared up. Train drivers are always the unacknowledged victims of these incidents.
“Too many people are killed on crossings each year. We want to see a major review to cease this endless and unnecessary carnage.”
Tristram Sterry from Thompsons Solicitors added: “All too often train drivers are left having to deal with the psychological impact of collisions caused through no fault of their own. Unfortunately for Mr Jarrad he had to deal with not one but three incidents. Whilst he was given counselling it is no wonder that he began to suffer from PTSD and anxiety".
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