(Edinburgh, Indiana December 1, 2016)
An Indiana motorist suffered injuries and extensive damage to his vehicle at about 7:00 A.M. Thursday after the 2010 Dodge Journey SUV was struck by a northbound Louisville & Indiana freight train.
James Haddix, 47, of Columbus, IN was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital for treatment after the train rolled the vehicle over on its drivers side after dragging it more than 100 yards. It was one of the eight trains operated daily by the L&IRR at top allowable speeds of 29 mph over the dangerous and unguarded road/rail intersection.
The accident blocked numerous roads for over 90 minutes as it delayed school buses carrying students to Taylorsville Elementary School for morning classes by blocking both primary and alternate bus routes, and also negatively affected traffic on the parallel CR 800 N, which, according to Captain Dave Steinkoenig, road division commander for the Bartholomew County Sheriffs Dept., carries significant cross-county traffic due to the location of the Edinburgh Premium Outlets Mall adjacent to the wreck site.
Reporter Mark Webber for The Republic newspaper of Columbus, IN, pointed out that A similar accident in November, 2005 at the same intersection claimed the life of Jeffrey Martin, 19, of Edinburgh.
Captain Steinkoenig evaluated the L&IRRs crossing of CR200W by saying the railroad crossing still does not have illumination, railroad lights or stop arms (crossing gates) that may have helped prevent both accidents.
In addition, according to the Federal Railroad Administrations grade crossing inventory web site, the danger of the crossing was demonstrated when another, non-injury accident occurred to the 19-year-old female driver of an auto at the same crossing on September 13 of this year.
The Louisville & Indiana Railroad is one of six U.S. railroads operated in seven states by the Anacostia Rail Holdings Company, headquartering in Chicago, IL.