Gwinnett teen suing CSX after train accident severed his legs

Jacob Ohl lost both legs in a train accident in Lilburn in March

Credit: Jason Kenney

Credit: Jason Kenney

Jacob Ohl lost both legs in a train accident in Lilburn in March

Jacob Ohl lost both his legs below the knee when he was run over by a train in Lilburn in March. Four months after he was released from the intensive care unit, Ohl is suing CSX and the operators that were allegedly running the train that hit him.

Ohl, 17, filed suit in DeKalb County last week. The lawsuit claims CSX and operators Derrick Tyrone Marshall, of Stone Mountain, and Clifton Edward Martin, of Greenwood, South Carolina, were negligent and that CSX was liable for his injuries, which have already racked up more than $200,000 in medical bills.

Ohl was walking along the train tracks with earbuds in on March 2 when he "sensed," but didn't hear, a train approaching behind him, his mother wrote on a GoFundMe page after the accident.

Ohl’s lawsuit claims the CSX train did not have a properly functioning front-facing camera, preventing the train’s engineer and conductor from seeing Ohl in time to avoid hitting him. CSX also did not put up fencing or other “warning devices” to keep pedestrians a safe distance from the tracks, the suit says.

Ohl was at least 1,000 feet from the train when Marshall and Martin first saw him, but they did not ring the train’s bell, blow the train horn or apply the emergency brake before hitting Ohl, the lawsuit says.

It took half a mile for the train to come to a complete stop after hitting Ohl, Lilburn police said at the time of the accident.

The suit asks for compensation for Ohl’s injuries, as well as damages he may suffer in the future. CSX declined to comment on the suit and would not say whether Marshall and Martin are still employed by the company.

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Jacob Ohl was hit by a CSX train in Lilburn last week. Police initially said Ohl lost his feet in the accident, but his family posted on a GoFundMe page that Ohl’s legs from the knees down have been amputated.