(Muncie, Indiana – June 6, 2016)
The unsuspecting driver of a Muncie Sanitary District garbage truck was seriously injured just after 8:00 A.M. Monday morning when a 23-car-long Norfolk Southern train struck his truck at the dangerous and unguarded road/rail intersection of Robin Lane and NS tracks just north of the Kohl’s Store and the Muncie Mall in Muncie, IN. The driver likely never saw nor heard the train which caused heavy damage, described by the news media as “a crumpled mess.”
The unidentified city employee was rushed to Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.
The crossing of Robin Lane and NS tracks has no automatic warning and safety devices like flashing lights or crossing gates, even though the Federal Railroad Administration says 31 trains cross there on an average day at speeds as high as 60 mph. The crossing was also the site of a non-injury collision several years ago. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision and the six before it would not have happened. Both Norfolk Southern 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%.