(Pass Christian, Mississippi – October 10, 2019)
A 35-year-old Jeep driver died at a local hospital after a 4:30 PM collision Thursday with a CSX freight train. The collision occurred at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of St. Paul Avenue and CSX tracks. The CSX tracks carry a daily average of nine CSX trains at speeds up to 45 MPH.
The driver, Cory Viator of Pass Christian was pronounced deceased after he was taken to the hospital according to Harrison County Deputy Coroner Brian Switzer.
The victim was the second fatality to occur at the road/rail intersection following a fatality that was suffered in 2009. Yet, there are no active warning devices, such as lights and gates, at this unguarded crossing. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision and the 2009 collision would not have happened. CSX and Operation Lifesaver all 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%.