Railroad News

As Railroad, Community Argue Over Crossing Installation, Pedestrian Is Killed by Train

(Davis, California – June 30, 2011)

A local resident of Davis, CA was killed Thursday morning about 9:30 A.M. when he was hit by an Amtrak passenger train. The crossing where he was struck was at a point on Union Pacific Railroad tracks where local authorities have asked for a safe crossing but been UPRR officials have not complied.

Danny Gene Ferguson, 54, was hit and killed by a westbound Amtrak train in downtown Davis as the victim attempted to cross where a safer crossing has been sought by Davis city and Yolo County officials.

“The City’s at-grade crossing plan is the best plan for safety and mobility within current funding constraints,” said Davis, CA Mayor Joe Krovoza in a statement following the tragedy.

“The option Union Pacific would prefer is a grade-separated crossing, which would come in the form of a bridge or a tunnel, and at a much higher cost to the city during tough economic times.” And, as the Davis City Council prepares to submit an at-grade crossing request to the California Public Utilities Commission, Union Pacific is planning to install a fence to keep pedestrians from crossing at the point where the tragedy occurred. The accident is one of 14 in Davis in the past 20 years. The Mayor of Davis expressed fears that the measures would only push pedestrians to cross other areas along the tracks.

“Union Pacific should refrain from proceeding with their fence plan until they fully cooperate with the City and coordinate with us on the design and CPUC approval of the at-grade crossing,” advised Mayor Krovoza.