(Thomas Township, Michigan – May 14, 2012)
The as-yet unidentified driver of a 2006 Chevrolet van was seriously injured as he drove north on South Orr Road in Thomas Township, MI and was struck by a westbound Mid-Michigan Railroad freight train at the dangerous, unguarded MMRR/South Orr crossing Monday about 12:39 P.M.
The victim’s van was struck on the passenger side and dragged at least 150’ before the train stopped.
There are no automatic protective devices, such as flashing lights, bells or gates, at the crossing, with passive signage providing the sole “warning” to motorists that a railroad track is located there.
The driver was not only rushed to Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw County for treatment of cuts, bruises and broken bones, but was also issued a traffic citation “for causing the accident” according to Sgt. Kevin Stevens of the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office, who noted that “the train always has the right-of-way.”
The Thomas Township and Tri-Township Fire Departments both responded to the accident.
The Mid-Michigan RR is one of 45 railroads owned and operated by the Jacksonville, FL-based RailAmerica short line and regional railroad conglomerate.