(Rineyville, Kentucky – April 28, 2020)
Two 19-year-old Kentucky men were airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital Tuesday night after their 2005 Honda Civic was struck by a Paducah & Louisville Railway freight train. The collision occurred at the dangerous and unguarded grade crossing of Kraft Road in Rineyville, KY at about 8:00 PM.
The victims’ vehicle was travelling west on Kraft Road when it encountered the southbound P&L Railway freight train. The freight train that struck the vehicle was one of a daily average of 10 trains that cross the railroad crossing at a maximum allowable speed of 35 mph.
The driver, Hunter Serna of Rineyville, was pronounced deceased at the Louisville hospital. His passenger, identified only as a 19-year-old male from Vine Grove, KY was admitted in serious condition.
The dangerous crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. There are no active warning devices even though it is traversed on days school is in session by nine school buses. It is virtually certain that lights and gates could have prevented this collision. Paducah & Louisville 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 collisions by as much as 96%.
The 270-mile-long Paducah & Louisville Railroad is a Class II short line railroad, one of three similar properties owned by the P&L Transportation Company headquartered in Wilmington, DE.