(Shreveport, Louisiana – January 27, 2016)
A mother and her two-year-old son were transported to University Health Services in Shreveport after their car collided with a string of railroad tank cars being backed across the dangerous and unguarded industrial crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Alto Vista Road in the Hollywood area of Shreveport, LA just before 10 PM, CST Wednesday night.
Shreveport Police did not identify the driver of the “dark colored passenger car” nor her toddler by name, but said they believed their injuries not to be “life-threatening.”
The crossing in question has no flashing lights or crossing gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this tragedy would not have happened. Both Union Pacific 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%.
The industrial siding, which serves an oil products firm, has a daily average of four trains enter or exit the facility via the spur track, and any reverse movement over an unguarded crossing should be guided and guarded by a member of the train crew on the ground at the intersection. Whether such function was performed was not confirmed.