(Lawtell, Louisiana – September 21, 2011)
A 31-year-old Opelousas, LA man, blinded by early morning sunlight at the crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Frank Road near Lawtell, LA Wednesday about 7:40 A.M., was struck, injured by a UPRR freight train.
Carl J. Bergeron stopped near the tracks, as Union Pacific rails closely parallel U.S. Highway 190, and leaves little room for vehicles to fit between the tracks and the divided four-lane highway. The train, consisting of three locomotives and 103 freight cars travelling at 47 mph, struck the bed portion of the victim’s truck, knocking the vehicle and its driver – who was seat-belted in the cab – 52 feet into a grassy area.
“If the train had hit him square, he wouldn’t have survived,” said St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Detective Eddie Thibodeaux.
Bergeron was ticketed for “disobeying a grade crossing” and was sent to a nearby hospital for treatment of superficial cuts and bruises.