(Monroe Township, Michigan – December 19, 2019)
An adult, believed to be a parent of three young passengers, had their red pickup truck struck and heavily damaged by a CSX freight train at an unguarded, brush-obscured private crossing Thursday morning about 7:20 AM, EST.
The family was on their way to Custer Elementary School in Monroe Township, Michigan, when the collision occurred. First responders worked together to free the four family members from the wreckage of the pickup. All four occupants were then rushed to a Toledo, OH hospital. All were admitted for treatment of their crash-related injuries. The victims were unidentified by age or gender, but as of Friday, two of the children were in critical condition, while the third child was in serious but stable condition. The parent driver was in stable condition.
News media photographs of the scene showed a fully obstructed view of oncoming trains by trees and brush on CSX’s right of way at the crossing. The crossing lacks any active warning devices, such as lights and gates, to properly warn crossing users of oncoming trains. It is also unknown whether the CSX train crew properly blew the train horn on approach to this crossing to provide sufficient warning for the family. According to the Federal Railroad Administration’s rail crossing website, the crossing is traversed by a daily average of four trains at a maximum speed of 40 mph.
The private crossing leads to the school but was not on school district property. The crossing was near the Monroe Township intersection of Telegraph and Albain Roads.