A young woman of Byhalia, MS was killed Sunday in a train crash at an unguarded railroad crossing. The 21-year-old attempted to cross an unguarded railroad crossing in her Chevy Lumina when she was struck and killed by the approaching train. The crossing itself is protected by neither lights nor gates – nothing exists to warn motorists of the crossing besides a passive railroad crossing sign.
According to residents, this is not the first fatality at this particular crossing. Residents cite the lack of safety equipment, coupled with tall buildings which obstruct the view down the tracks, as issues which make this crossing particularly dangerous. According to one resident living near the crossing in question, Roger Clemens, crossing lights and gates are definitely needed. Even if they only save one life some time down the line, he thinks, they are still worth the cost.
He couldn’t be more right. This train crash is tragic and, given the circumstances, may very well not have taken place had the crossing been outfitted with lights and gates. It does not appear that the young woman was trying to beat a train she knew was coming – rather, it seems that she was simply unaware of the approaching train altogether.
A meeting between MDOT, local county and city leaders, and the railroad company is scheduled to discuss putting up lights and gates. Hopefully reason and compassion, rather than money, will triumph.