Man Awarded Millions for Injuries Sustained in Train Wreck

Paragould Daily Press, Vol.121, No.45-44,
Paragould, Arkansas

By TOMMY HAYNES
DAILY PRESS

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - An incident that left one man dead and another seriously injured in Paragould on. Aug. 18, 2000, was settled by a trial jury Friday in the. St. Louis, Mo., Circuit Court.

Charles Payne, a 59-year-old resident of Ellsinore, Mo., and a former engineer for Union Pacific, was awarded $2.975 million for injuries he sustained when he struck a semi-truck, driven by Jame's Shepherd, at a railroad crossing on Goldsmith Road.

The wreck occurred at 7:30 a.m. when, according to Cpl. Tony Williams, of the Paragould Police Department, both the conductor and the engineer saw the driver bring the Cornhusker Truck to a complete stop at the intersection before proceeding to cross the tracks.

Shepherd, a resident of Poplar Bluff, Mo., was killed on impact, and Payne received injuries that left him disabled.

According to Payne's attorney, Jerry Schlichter, of Schlichter Bogard & Denton of St. Louis, Payne was forced to undergo multiple surgeries and was unable to continue his career with Union Pacific.

Schlichter stated that the attorneys for Cornhusker Truck Line argued that Payne failed to reduce the speed of his train and, therefore, should not have been awarded damages.

Schlichter, however, stated that the jury found a verdict in favor of Payne and against the Omaha-based truck line, stating that the driver failed to yield right-of-way to the oncoming train.