Two Addison residents severely injured in January when a freight train collided with their vehicle are ready for their day in court.

Attorney Tim Cavanagh, who is representing 72-year-old victims Francisca and Fidel Velarde, secured Nov. 14, the first available trial date, for his clients in Cook County circuit court.

“The Velardes are elderly and are no longer in good health, so it was important to me to get in the courtroom as soon as possible,” Cavanagh said. “Nov. 14 is coming up very soon, so I am very happy with the date.”

Tape recordings of communications between an Illinois Central Railroad dispatcher and the train crew reveal a miscommunication between dispatcher Robert Haas and the conductor, who attorneys say caused a freight train to hit a sport utility vehicle and injure its occupants Jan. 9.

All three occupants of the SUV are still recovering from their injuries, Cavanagh said. Francisca Velarde suffered a head injury, and doctors say she suffers from post-concussion syndrome. Her husband, Fidel, also suffered a closed head injury, a torn aorta and fractured ribs and had to have fluid removed from his brain.

The driver of the vehicle, the Velardes’ daughter, Lilia Apuello, 39, of Carol Stream, suffered a broken arm in the collision. The lawyers that work with see these situations every day.

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