(Glasgow, Kentucky – June 21, 2017)
A 59-year-old local motorist suffered injuries after her Kia Sportage SUV collided with a CSX freight train at the crossing of CSX railroad track and Park City-Glasgow Road in Barren County, KY shortly before 7:00 P.M. Wednesday evening.
This collision marks the fourth accident since 2000 at the road/rail intersection. The victim, Kristina Bertram’s SUV was struck on the driver’s side by a CSX train that she likely never heard nor saw until the collision was imminent. Ms. Bertram was subsequently transported to the T.J. Sampson Memorial Hospital in Glasgow for treatment of her collision-resultant injuries. According to Glasgow Daily Times Reporter Melinda J. Overstreet, she “Did not see or hear the train approaching.”
Three prior collisions, the most recent occurring in December, 2014, at the crossing had resulted in a single injury. No daily count of rail traffic was reported by CSX in documentation housed on the crossing with the Federal Railroad Administration.
Satellite and news media photos of the intersection show an extremely angular crossing of the public highway and CSX tracks which emerge on both sides of the crossing from heavily-tree-foliage-obscured sight triangles. The ability for drivers to see an approaching train is hampered at best.
Despite these dangerous characteristics and the prior three incidents, this crossing was unguarded and lacked any form of active warning protection devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was protected by active warning devices, this collision would not have occurred. Both CSX 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%.