(Alabaster, Alabama – July 30, 2018)
A 4-year-old preschooler, Sharon Smith, was riding in a vehicle driven by her mother when she tragically died after it was struck by a CSX freight train. The vehicle was heavily damaged by the CSX railroad freight train at the non-gated crossing of CSX rails and the portion of Fulton Springs Road. The crossing leads to the lime quarry in Alabaster, AL. The tragic collision occurred at about 11:43 P.M. Monday night.
The victim’s mother, whose name was not being released by authorities, was airlifted to the UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where she was in stable condition after surgery to treat crash-related injuries.
Authorities did say that there was “tremendous damage” to the vehicle in the fourth crash to occur at the crossing which, although equipped with flashing lights, lacked the necessary crossing gates which most certainly would have prevented this collision. Studies have shown the addition of automatic gates to light only crossings can reduce collisions by up to two-thirds.
“It was a long day and night,” lamented Alabaster Fire Chief Tim Love to Alabama.com reporter Carol Robinson. “Anytime a child is killed is tough.”
The mother’s sister-in-law, Dominique Rice, told WKRG-TV Reporter Haley Townsend that they established the “Go Fund Me” appeal so that they could give “their princess” a proper burial.
According to crossing accident statistics, the Fulton Springs Road/CSX intersection has been the site of four accidents, the most recent, prior to Monday night’s tragedy having been on March 8, 2005, when the driver of a truck was killed by one of the 11 daily CSX freight trains that cross there at speeds as high as 50 mph.