Louisiana Motorist Seriously Injured at Non-Gates KCS Crossing
(Sorrento, Louisiana – September 12, 2016)
A 27-year-old driver of a pickup pulling a utility trailer loaded with lawn care equipment was airlifted to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge for treatment of multiple severe head injuries after a Kansas City Southern freight train hit his vehicle at the non-gated crossing of Louisiana Route 22 (John LeBlanc Boulevard) in Sorrento, LA about 6:00 P.M., CDT, Monday evening.
Witnesses to the collision told The Baton Rouge Advocate that Derek Palermo of Gonzales, LA “didn’t appear to be trying to beat the train and was driving slowly over the crossing.” As the Gonzales Weekly Citizen pointed out, “The La. 22 railroad crossing has flashing warning lights but no arms to block traffic when a train is approaching.” Studies have shown that the addition of automatic gates to crossings with flashing lights only can reduce accidents by up to two-thirds.