(Goodman, Missouri – June 14, 2017)
A five-year-old Goodman, MO girl died shortly after she and four others, an adult and two children, were seriously injured when the minivan was struck by a Kansas City Southern freight train. Katelynd Cartwright, 24, of Goodman was driving the minivan on Sarratt Road, two miles from Goodman, MO, when it was struck by the train (powered by a Union Pacific locomotive). The collision occurred at the dangerous and unguarded crossing Wednesday evening about 8:00 P.M., CDT.
Riding in the passenger seat was Michael Teed, 26, and in the back were siblings Jayden Coe, 5, and Aidin Coe, 3, both of Neosho, MO, who were riding with Leah Robinson, 5. All of whom were airlifted to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, MO, where Leah died shortly after midnight Thursday morning. No information on relationships among the victims was given.
Although the tragedy Wednesday was the first accident recorded at that crossing by the Federal Railroad Administration, the steeply-humped railroad crossing is used daily by 20 KCS trains which can travel at a maximum speed of 40 mph. The crossing was not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates, to warn the motorists of oncoming trains. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was protected by active warning devices, this collision would not have occurred. Both KCS and Operation Lifesaver all know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.