(Lincoln County, Missouri – September 15, 2015)
A 49-year-old Elsberry, MO resident was killed last Tuesday afternoon when his 2008 Plymouth PT Cruiser was struck by a BNSF freight train at a private roadway in rural Lincoln County, MO near the intersection of Highway 79 and Route CC. Daniel Ludwig was pronounced dead at the scene after his vehicle collided at about 2:50 P.M., CDT with one of a daily average of 18 BNSF trains that pass through the corridor at a top allowable speed of 60 mph.
The accident was still under investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, whose troopers responded to the tragedy. However, this crossing did not have any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this accident one would not have happened. Both BNSF and Operation Lifesaver 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%.