An as-yet unidentified driver of a car was injured and taken to a hospital after his vehicle collided with a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train at the intersection of BNSF tracks and a field road on private property just after 10:30 P.M. Thursday night in Lee County, MS. The vehicle careened off the train’s locomotive and landed in a nearby ditch.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said the exact location of the accident was a private road off of County Road 1149, which comes off Highway 6 between Nettleton and Plantersville, MS.
Whether or not the driver ever had any warning of the approaching train was unknown, as Federal Railroad Administration regulations do not require trains to whistle for private crossings, and the crossing was not protected by any form of active warning systems such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates – systems railroad industry sources say could prevent 90% or more train/highway vehicle collisions – depending instead upon passive railroad crossing signage. BNSF operates an average of 20 trains daily across the crossing at top speeds of 60 mph.