(Scooba, Mississippi – February 5, 2020)
Another injury crossing collision at a non-gated crossing (Mississippi Highway 16 in Scooba) ) has community leaders as well as law enforcement up in arms over the railroad and governmental entities failures to respond positively to the town’s lengthy request for crossing gates at a dangerous crossing.
Wednesday marked the seventh collision to occur at the dangerous crossing. There have now been nine injuries and one fatality from the seven collisions at this crossing. Officials were again wringing their hands in frustration over the lingering problem.
The Highway 16 crossing accommodates a half dozen Kansas City Southern trains daily at a point crossed by an average of 4,200 motor vehicles on an average day. Meanwhile, Wednesday was just another chapter in the now 3 years’-long City of Scooba versus Kansas City Southern and Mississippi DOT feud. “If the gate would’ve been there, he (the victim driver) would’ve never did it (attempted to cross the tracks), so we need a gate at this place,” Ward 5 Alderman Rodney Woodard told WTOK-TV, Channel 11 News Reporter Brianna Bynam.
Meanwhile, Mayor Craig Nave told the reporter that he has repeatedly contacted MSDOT during a three-year Odyssey which has produced “No luck”. “We’ve been denied at every turn,” added Alderman Woodard. We need to get some gates at this place so people can understand they need to stop, not try to run the lights.”
In Wednesday’s collision, Kemper County Sheriff James Moore said the motorist was treated at the scene by paramedics. “You hear of a train crash with a vehicle (and) you’re going to think that that’s going to be a fatality,” said the sheriff. “We’re very blessed today that that didn’t happen.”
City leaders say they have no intention of giving up. “Hopefully, we’ll call a special board meeting” to address the problem, said the Alderman.