(Fennville, Michigan December 14, 2016)
A 22-year-old local resident was hospitalized in serious condition after his vehicle collided with a single locomotive CSX freight train at a non-gated grade crossing just outside of Fennville, MI about 1:40 P.M., EST Wednesday. The collision caused road closures after one car of the train derailed roughly a mile north of the 118th Avenue/CSX crossing where the crash occurred.
The as-yet unidentified driver was traveling east when he encountered the northbound train. The train was one of an average of seven trains that cross there daily at maximum speeds of 65 mph. His car reflected off the train and the auto was so badly damaged that firefighters from both the Clyde and Lee Township fire departments had to extricate him from the wreckage.
The crossing, which is near the intersection of 118th Avenue and 56th Street, does not have crossing gates but is equipped with single-mast flashing lights. Studies have shown that the addition of gates to lights only crossings can reduce accidents by up to two-thirds. Wednesdays injury accident was the second to occur at the crossing, which is also on active school bus routes.