(Warrior, Alabama – February 13, 2015)
A 19-year veteran employee of the Jefferson County, AL Roads and Transportation Dept. tragically lost his life Friday morning at about 10:20 A.M., EST when the dump truck he was driving collided with a CSX freight train at the dangerous, unguarded, questionably-designed and tree-obscured crossing of Brasher Road and CSX Railroad tracks near Warrior, AL.
Darin “Voodoo” Voudrie, a loving husband and father of four children, died at the crossing, which is situated on an “S” curve on Brasher Road just beyond its intersection with Hagood Road in the extreme northern part of the county. The crossing not only accommodates nearly 300 highway vehicles, including at least four school buses, daily, but forces them to play a deadly game of “Russian Roulette” with the daily average of 27 CSX freight trains that cross the intersection at a top allowable speed of 50 mph. Quite simply, it is no contest, as the crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates.
It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both CSX and Operation Lifesaver know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.
“It’s a sad day anytime such a tragedy occurs taking a life. It’s particularly sad for us to learn the person lost was a member of the Jefferson County work force family,” said Chief County Sheriff’s Deputy Randy Christian. “Our hearts and prayers of comfort are with the family, friends and co-workers. This will be heart-wrenching for them,” he concluded.