A town is amazed after seeing the remains of an almost unrecognizeable Land Rover that was hit by a train going over 50 mph. Fortunately their amazement is not at the destruction but at the fact that the two occupants lived through the railroad crossing accident. This train accident happened at a crossing with no gates, as we so often see. It is, however, rare that the occupants of such a railroad accident survive. Unfortunately, we cannot depend on luck for survival; lights and gates save lives – plain and simple.
A New Jersey woman was struck and killed by a train at Sixth and Railroad street in Emmaus. The train was able to stop six blocks after impact and was not put into emergency mode. This railroad crossing previously had no lights or gates. Reports indicate that flashing lights and gates had recently been installed. The crossing accident is said to have occurred at 10:39 p.m. The odd timing may warrant further investigation. No known reports have been made regarding the accessibility of this railroad crossing for pedestrians.
WEST FRANKFORT, IL: For years level-headed citizens of this Illinois town had lobbied to get lights and gates installed at this dangerous railroad crossing. It was not until a popular community member lost his life last month that any action was taken, however. This train accident and others at this railroad crossing could have been prevented had the railroad company taken its proper responsibility to protect the motorists in the city through which it frequently travels.
A 26 year old woman and her 27 year old boyfriend got their car stuck on the railroad tracks on a foggy night in Buda, Texas. She was killed, and her boyfriend was critically injured in the train accident. Although officials are still unsure about the specifics, we know the railroad crossing had only a stop sign to warn motorists of oncoming trains. A worn stop sign on a foggy night is hardly enough to protect drivers from the certain death that will occur in a car vs. train accident.
The northern California train company, Caltrain, is preparing to fund half a million dollars worth of cameras on their trains. There were 111 railroad related deaths in California “in the first 10 months of 2007.” Now railroad officials want to add cameras to their trains to help investigate train accidents. For half a million dollars, they could add dozens of lights and protective gates to dangerous railroad crossings across the state.
A Missouri woman was killed in a train crossing accident near Jefferson City, Missouri. Reports claim her car tire was stuck between two railroad ties; she was killed trying to get her car out of the situation. Union Pacific officials have given limited statements on the train accident, and nothing has been said about the condition of the crossing. Statistically, it is unlikely the railroad crossing had lights or gates. It is also likely that Union Pacific did not keep the railroad crossing in good condition; there should never be a circumstance in which a driver is stuck on the tracks.
A 17-year-old Bossier City resident was killed at a railroad crossing without crossing arms this Thursday. Lights and bells were reportedly working, but such equipment has malfunctioned in the past. The boy’s Kia Optima was pushed 300 yards from the point of impact. Paramedics attempted to revive him, but the accident was too severe. Another railroad crossing accident occurred here last August, but fortunately the driver survived that crash.
One family is suing Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway over a dangerous railroad crossing in Kern County, California, which claimed the life of their husband and father. They claim the railroad company knew that the crossing was dangerous but chose to do nothing about it. Commissioners for Kern County have improved the road leading up to the crossing, and the railroad company has since put crossing arms up to prevent further train accidents.