Railroad News

Arkansas Motorist Killed by Amtrak Train at Dangerous, Unguarded UP Crossing

(December 30, 2012)

A 47-year-old Prescott man was killed instantly at about 10:50 P.M. Sunday night when his 1990 Buick Century was struck on the rear driver’s side by a Little Rock-bound Amtrak passenger train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Nevada County Road 48 and Union Pacific railroad tracks southwest of Prescott, AR.

Jimmie L. Guyton, Jr. was approaching the intersection of CR 48 and U.S. Highway 67, which parallels UPRR tracks just a few feet beyond the grade crossing, and which has a steep upgrade before trains can be seen approaching from either direction.

The crossing has no active protection whatsoever, being equipped solely with a pair of standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs, as well as a single highway stop sign in one direction of approach. According to Federal Railroad Administration records, the crossing accommodates three dozen trains daily, including two Amtrak operations, at speeds of up to 75 mph.

One unidentified commenter, whose wife grew up within walking distance of the fatal intersection, said that “This is a poorly set-up crossing. It is very steep to the point where you (the approaching motorist) cannot see the train coming because of the massive amount of trees covering your vision. The entire crossing is also an issue, as they (the public) have begged Union Pacific for years to fix the problem and put up lights and crossing arms, or at least lights, yet they always say that ‘because it’s a county road, they won’t do it, and that they aren’t required by any law to do that.’ This is not the first person to be killed here. It is so steep of a crossing that if you don’t keep your foot on the gas, you might not make it across.”

The Arkansas State Police report on the investigation into the accident, for some reason or another, mentioned none of the extenuating conditions and topography whatsoever.