(Milford, Indiana – October 22, 2012)
The 77-year-old female driver of a small Dodge pickup truck was struck and critically injured by a 37-car Norfolk Southern freight train Monday afternoon at about 2:00 P.M. at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Emeline Street and NS railroad tracks in the community of Milford, IN in Kosciusko County.
Carolyn Handy was found in her truck, unconscious and suffering from critical head and internal injuries, by emergency responders. She was immediately transported to Parkview Regional Medical Center in South Bend, IN, but died from her injuries Monday evening.
The accident, the fourth to occur at the Emeline Street/NSRR crossing, was the first fatality at the crossing, which has only standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs and highway stop signs to protect the driving public from encounters with the 10 trains which cross there daily at top speeds of 50 mph. The crossing lacks any form of active protection like flashing lights, bells and crossing gates, systems which rail sources claim could prevent over 90% of the types of tragedies like happened Monday afternoon.
The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office F.A.C.T. team is currently investigating the accident.