(Monett, Missouri – June 19, 2017)
An 18-year-old recent high school graduate required extrication from his overturned vehicle by Monett, MO firefighters and was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO for treatment of serious injuries. The teen suffered injuries Monday evening at about 8:30 P.M., CDT when his vehicle was struck by a BNSF freight train. The BNSF train was one of 26 BNSF Railway freight trains that cross Farm Road 1130 daily at a maximum allowable speed of 50 mph.
Spencer Crossland was attempting to negotiate the narrow, barely two-lane rural crossing when his northbound vehicle was struck on the passenger’s side by a westbound BNSF train. His unidentified passenger escaped the wreckage without need of extrication by Monett firefighters.
“The railroad crossing does not have crossbars (nor is it equipped with flashing lights) at that location,” reported Murray Bishoff of The Monett Times, who added that “A railroad safety meeting was scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the incident.”
As previously mentioned, this crossing lacked automatic protective devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was protected by active warning devices, this collision would not have occurred. Both BNSF 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%.