(Capac, Michigan October 28, 2016)
A 52-year-old Clinton Township, MI resident was rushed to the intensive care unit of McLaren Lapeer Regional Hospital after his northbound pickup truck was struck by a Canadian National freight train at the dangerous and unguarded Martin Road crossing of CNR tracks near Capac in Mussey Township. The collision occurred Friday morning at about 8:45 A.M., EDT. According to Federal Railroad Administration-housed records, a daily average of 34 CN, CSX and Amtrak trains cross there daily at a maximum allowable speed of 79 mph.
Fridays collision was the third accident to occur at that intersection, resulting in a total of three non-fatal injuries.
Despite the accident history and the fact that four school busses must cross the railroad tracks there daily, this crossing lacks any form of active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision would not have happened. Both Canadian National 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 victim was ejected from the drivers seat of his vehicle by the trains impact, as it overturned into a trackside ditch. The St. Clair County Sheriffs Department said he was in stable condition after admission to the hospital in Lapeer.