(Tucson, Arizona – April 15, 2016)
An as yet-unidentified woman believed to be in her late 40’s or early 50’s was rushed to Tucson’s Banner-University Medical Center Friday morning after the small, silver pickup truck she was driving was struck by a Union Pacific freight train. The collision occurred sometime between 9:15 and 9:30 A.M. MST at a private crossing that accesses a small residential area along South Nogales Highway in Pima County, AZ south of Tucson. The woman was admitted for treatment of what were described as critical, life-threatening injuries.
The crossing accommodates half a dozen freight trains daily. However, it is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is not known if the train horn was sounded before the collision. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision would not have happened. Both Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver all 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%.
The Rural Metro Fire Dept. responded to and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the tragic accident.