(Hammond, Louisiana – May 9, 2011)
A commercial truck loaded with live chickens was hit by an eastbound Canadian National freight train about 10:00 A.M. Monday morning, killing the driver, as he tried to cross at a private, unguarded, unusually dangerous railroad crossing just east of Hammond, Louisiana.
Randall Choate, 57, of McComb, Mississippi, was pronounced dead at the scene, and his load of chickens was spilled all around the site. Choate was on a private road off of U.S. Highway 190 leading to Sanderson Farms.
Too often private crossings are neglected or ignored by Railroads due to low traffic volume and a neglect of their employee’s responsibility to report unusually dangerous crossings. Go HERE for more information about a Railroad’s responsibility at crossings.
The Railroad-funded Operation Lifesaver program would have the public believe that it is purely their responsibility to avoid and prevent accidents, however, the Railroad is also charged with a number of duties to ensure the safest possible crossing. When crossings do not meet these standards the result is often catastrophic injury or death.