(Baton Rouge, Louisiana – March 18, 2013)
Little is being released regarding a serious accident occurring at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Canadian National railroad tracks and South Choctaw Drive in Baton Rouge, LA Monday evening just after 8:00 P.M., in which two occupants of an eastbound 1997 Ford Ranger pickup truck were injured, one of them seriously.
The lack of information forthcoming so far may be due to the fact that, according to reports filed with the Federal Railroad Administration, train crew flagging is supposed to be performed, but evidentially was not. The crossing is otherwise protected by a lone passive railroad crossbuck sign, and with the lack of the supplemental flagmen, “Police believe the driver of the pickup did not see the train crossing South Choctaw.”
The train, one of only four that cross there daily at top speeds of 20 mph, struck the vehicle on the passenger’s side, trapping the injured party inside the cab until Baton Rouge Fire Dept. emergency personnel could extricate the victim. Neither name, gender, age, and address of either of the truck’s unfortunate occupants was released, but it was known that the Baton Rouge Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit was on the scene and investigating the accident. The driver was treated at the scene while the severely injured passenger was taken to a local hospital for treatment.