(Worthville, Kentucky – June 7, 2018)
A railroad grade crossing with an unusual, unguarded design has now been the site of three train/highway vehicle collisions.
The latest collision occurred last Thursday morning when an unidentified motorist was hospitalized after a CSX freight train struck his car at the grade crossing of Stephanus Creek Road and double CSX railroad tracks. The railroad crossing accommodates a daily average of 15 CSX freight trains in a normal day at a maximum train speed of 45 mph.
The design of the dangerous and unguarded grade crossing can be confusing to motorist because Stephanus Creek Road parallels the twin CSX tracks along the north edge of the rail right-of-way until making an abrupt left turn on a 90-degree angle and then proceeds toward the south. To add to the complexity of the driving task for motorists, the crossing lacks any form of active warning device, such as lights and gates, to give warning of the approach of a train. It is virtually certain that this collision would not have occurred if the crossing was equipped with active warning devices. Both 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 accidents by as much as 96%.