(Edinburgh, Indiana – March 4, 2020)
A 24-year-old driver of a box truck was hospitalized after his vehicle was destroyed in a collision with a train. The collision occurred at the unguarded Louisville & Indiana Railroad crossing of Johnson County Road 650 South near Edinburgh, IN at about 8:26 AM Wednesday.
Jacob Adam Murdick of Middletown, IN was the driver of the box truck. He was sent by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital in serious condition. The collision is the first to occur at the unguarded Louisville & Indiana Railroad crossing, which is not equipped with any active warning devices. The crossing accommodates a daily average of eight daily Louisville & Indiana and CSX freight trains that cross there at the maximum allowable speed of 49 mph.
It is virtually certain that lights and gates could have prevented this collision. Louisville & Indiana, CSX, 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 collisions by as much as 96%.
Franklin, IN Daily Journal Editor James Vaughn, reported the true cause of the collision. “Train crashes occur yearly in Johnson County, and city, town and county officials are on a mission to update nearly every railroad crossing to include crossing arms and flashing lights that would conclude a years-long effort to keep motorists safe by clearly warning them when a train is on its way,” wrote the veteran newsman in Thursday’s Daily Journal.
“City and town officials have long argued that the upgrades were needed after faster trains began to roll through the county more frequently in recent years,” wrote Vaughn before chronicling the histories of recent wrecks as well as the struggles of area communities to negate the dangers of more frequent and faster trains through the county through installation and activation of automatic warning systems..
“Part of the push to upgrade the crossings comes from the number of accidents that have involved trains and motorists,” Vaughn concluded.