(Bienville Parish, Louisiana – August 4, 2015)
A 31-year-old female resident of Ruston, LA died around 9:00 A.M., CDT Tuesday morning when she was hit by a train as she was walking along a U.S. 80 highway/KCS railway corridor which offers no dedicated pedestrian pathway in Bienville Parish, LA, just west of the Lincoln Parish line.
Kanisha Womack was walking along the tracks and stepped to the side in a trackside area she hoped was safe, but was still struck by the Kansas City Southern freight train, one of a daily average of 20 that ply the route at maximum speeds of 59 mph.
Hearing the train’s horn, the victim moved to the side of the tracks and “looked around and threw her hands up to say ‘I’m off the tracks’” and was then struck by the train’s locomotive, according to KMSS-TV Fox 33 News.
Rural areas like the one in which the tragedy occurred seldom have accommodations for pedestrians, forcing them to choose to walk along either busy highway or railroad tracks to gain access for necessary services they could not otherwise obtain.