(Kuna, Idaho – December 28, 2015)
A 19-year-old Nampa, ID man died Monday afternoon at about 3:04 P.M., MST when his southbound car was struck by a westbound Union Pacific freight train he probably never saw until too late at the dangerous and unguarded intersection of UPRR tracks and Black Cat Road in Kuna, ID.
The lone occupant of the car, Peter J. Francois, a graduate of Kuna High School, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ada County Coroner’s office from what the coroner’s report described as “blunt force trauma. “ His vehicle was struck by one of the 32 UPRR trains that cross there at allowable speeds as high as 79 mph, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s website.
The collision was the second accident and first fatality to occur at the crossing, which KBOI-TV News Channel 2 in Boise, ID described as “what is referred to as a passive railroad intersection, where there are no dropping arms or flashing lights to alert drivers of an oncoming train.” It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this accident and the two prior accidents would not have happened. Both Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver 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%