(Fort Pierce, Florida – October 4, 2018)
The driver of a dump truck was killed last Thursday by a Florida East Coast freight train which he likely never saw or heard. The collision occurred about 2:30 PM, EDT near Fort Pierce, FL. The driver was thrown from his vehicle due to the severity of the impact. St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue divers recovered the remains of 53-year-old Oslavio Morales of Port St. Lucie, FL on Friday.
There are no automatic signals (crossing gates and flashing lights) installed at the crossing. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with protective warning devices, such as lights and gates, this collision would not have occurred. Both FEC Railway and Operation Lifesaver know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings and studies have confirmed that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train collisions by as much as 96%.
According to FRA statistics, the FEC operates a daily average of 21 freight trains at a maximum allowable speed of 40 mph. There had been one previous, non-injury collision between an FEC train and a truck at the FEC/East Canal Road crossing.