CHAPEL HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) – The mother who lost three children to a train crash in Marshall County has now filed a multi-million-dollar wrongful death lawsuit against CSX and the city of Chapel Hill, claiming their negligence played a factor in the deadly crash.
On Sept. 24, three of Maria Celeste’s five children were driving on Depot Road in Chapel Hill when their car was struck by a train operated by CSX Transportation.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a Toyota Corolla heading westbound along Depot Road when it crossed over some railroad tracks in Chapel Hill and was hit by a southbound train.
THP identified the individuals who died in the Corolla as the driver of the vehicle, 22-year-old Duvraska Coronado, along with her two passengers, 26-year-old Magyory Coronado and 29-year-old Welengang Coronado, all of Nashville.
Attorneys with the Hendersonville-based Rocky McElhaney Law Firm filed the suit on Tuesday, just one month after Celeste lost her three children in the deadly crash.
In the lawsuit, Celeste claims the railroad crossing on Depot Street is known to be dangerous, hazardous, “negligently constructed and deadly.” The court filing says many traffic wrecks and other harmful incidents involving the road and railroad tracks had occurred prior to the deadly collision.
In her complaint, Celeste alleges the train that struck and killed her three children was traveling at a high rate of speed and failed to follow federal law 49 CER § 222.21, which requires all locomotives to sound off their horns to alert motorists as it approaches a railroad crossing.
The lawsuit also claims the placement of the stop sign and crossbuck on the westbound side of the crossing violates the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Celeste is seeking $12.5 million in damages from the transportation company and the City of Chapel Hill.