(Indianapolis, Indiana – July 9, 2016)
An as-yet unidentified mother and her properly-restrained three-year-old daughter were rushed to two separate Indianapolis, IN hospitals Saturday afternoon at about 2:45 P.M., EST. The mother and daughter’s Honda Accord was struck by a westbound Amtrak train with 130 passengers on board at the non-gated intersection of CSX rails and Ritter Avenue in east Indianapolis.
Firefighters called to the scene worked for over 15 minutes extricating the victims from the vehicle. The mother was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. Her daughter was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, where she was admitted in good condition.
The crossing where the collision occurred is primarily used by Amtrak and speeds on the tracks are limited to 25 mph. Heavy tree foliage surrounds the approaches of the CSX/Ritter Street intersection, making negotiation of the crossing difficult. From some angles the trees nearly completely block the motorist’s view of the flashing light signals. There are also no gates, which provide an added active and visible warning that a train is approaching.
The Ritter Avenue crossing has now been the site of five crossing collision, including one fatality and five non-fatal injuries.