(Harrodsburg, Kentucky – October 18, 2011)
A Kentucky mother, barely able to cope with her daughter’s tragic death at a non-gated Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing this past Saturday morning, is on a mission to correct the situation she feels was a major factor in the tragedy.
“I don’t want her death to be in vain,” said Phillita Jill Ammons, whose daughter, Sophia Dawn Ammons, died at the crossing when she collided with a train after she was blinded by the morning sun at a crossing that lies at the end of a sharp curve on Bohon Road in Harrodsburg, KY.
Mrs. Ammons feels the simple installation of crossing gates to the existing lights, which also were negated by the bright sun, would have been instrumental in preventing the collision.
“I want to prevent another child from dying,” she told WLEX-TV, Lexington, KY reporters. “If it is not just Bohon Road in Harrodsburg, it’s all over Kentucky,” she observed.
Norfolk Southern officials said they were investigating the accident and that they inspect the signals on a regular basis, but maintained the standard “pre-emption” argument, claiming that the Kentucky Dept. of Transportation is responsible for installing crossing gates.