An oncoming train struck and killed a college professor at a crosswalk in Massachusetts.  Now his widow has sued.

An oncoming train struck and killed a college professor at a crosswalk in Massachusetts. Now his widow has sued.

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A widow has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit after her late professor, a 42-year-old professor, was struck and killed by an oncoming train while riding his bicycle across a crosswalk in Massachusetts.

According to the lawsuit, Moisei Shumau was trying to board a train at the Beverly Depot station on the day of his death in October 2019. At that time he was a a recently hired professor of journalism at Emerson College in Boston after moving to Massachusetts from Miami, where he previously taught at Florida International University and lived with his family.

In the decade before his death, five people had previously been hit by trains at the same train station, including another person who died in 2017 after a train collided, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court on Sept. 26.

Rose Schumau of Florida says her husband’s death was the direct result of negligence and is suing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Keolis Commuter Services, LLC, the operator of the train when Moses Schumau died, and the city of Beverly, according to the complaint.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesatura told McClatchy News that the agency prefers not to comment on pending litigation. McClatchy News also contacted Keolis Commuter Services, Beverly city officials and attempted to contact the man who was driving the train when it struck Moses Shumow on October 6.

The complaint alleges that the commuter train that struck Moise Shumov was traveling too fast, at a speed higher than the Northeast Operating Rules, and did not sound the train’s horn to warn the professor of its approach.

“Shumov first noticed the train while on the tracks, directly in front of the train,” the complaint states. “Pedestrians are allowed to cross in front of oncoming trains at Beverley depot, creating unsafe conditions.”

Rose Shumow’s lawsuit seeks at least $75,000 in damages and requires a jury trial.

Lawsuit

The complaint states that the death of Moisei Shumov was a “direct and immediate result of the gross negligence” of each of the defendants.

On October 22, 2019, Moisei Shumau was riding his bicycle when he was “immediately hit” by a train at a crosswalk and killed at about 8:15 a.m., according to the complaint. The commuter train was owned by the MBTA and operated by Keolis.

Literally 10 seconds before the collision, several pedestrians and a dog made their way through the same pedestrian crossing, which, according to the complaint, was used by Moisei Shumau.

“Despite the significant risk of injury to pedestrians,” the complaint said, the train station had “no automatic gates, signal lights, buzzers, signs, signals, signalers or flaggers, gates, crossings, pavement markings, or other safety devices, to warn pedestrians of approaching trains.”

While the lawsuit notes that five people have previously been struck by trains at Beverly Depot, it states that “there have been numerous other injuries and deaths of pedestrians who have been struck by trains in the city of Beverly” and cites a number of examples.

Meanwhile, a commuter train driver is accused of failing to sound his horn when the train entered Beverly Depot, as required by state and federal law.

If it had actually sounded, Moisei Shumau would have noticed the approaching train, preventing his death, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint also says the city of Beverly previously banned the use of railroad horns within city limits after it claimed to have applied for “quiet zone” status. It claims the city could never have been granted quiet zone status and that the MBTA and Keolis “knew or should have known” about it.

The lawsuit accuses the MBTA, Keolis and the train operator of allegedly exceeding the city’s local speed limit on the train on the day of Moses Shumow’s death, according to the filing.

Because Rose Shumow represents the estate of Moses Shumow, the lawsuit says she is “entitled to recover damages.”

In addition to his professorship, Moisei Shumau also had one before produced documentaries for PBS, National Geographic, History Channel and Discovery, Emerson College said in a statement.

Prior to joining Emerson College in the fall of 2019, he spent nine years as a professor of journalism and media at Florida International University, according to a statement.

In 2005, Moses Shumow and Rose Shumow moved to Miami, where they later had three children, according to his obituary. He was described as a “strong member” of the Biscayne Park community and enjoyed spending time with his friends and family.

“During his short time at Emerson, Moses taught Community Engagement and Digital Storytelling courses, quickly becoming a student favorite,” Moses Shumov’s obituary reads.

Beverly is 25 miles northeast of Boston.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the Southeast and Northeast while based in New York. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. She has previously written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and others.