(Pegram, Tennessee – June 16, 2014)
A day following a collision between an SUV loaded with five teenagers on their way back from a swim in west Nashville,TN, neighbors, customers and employees at Eddie’s Market – which faces the notorious McCrory Lane crossing just across Highway 70 — are calling the situation which sent all five teens to Vanderbilt University Hospital late Saturday afternoon at about 6:15 P.M. “a ticking time bomb” according to Nashville News Channel 5 WTVF News Anchor Shannon Royster.
“Some fear this situation could turn deadly (there have now been nine injuries suffered in seven accidents at the crossing, but none have been fatal) any day now,” said News5 Investigative Reporter Jason Lamb as he looked into the problem crossing Sunday. “There have been far too many car and train collisions, and they will continue to happen,” he said neighbors predicted.
“Something needs to be done about this train crossing,” neighbor Marilyn Hulan told Lamb, emphasizing that signs are often ignored by drivers. “It’s like playing Russian Roulette,” she surmised.
The crossing of CSX tracks by McCrory Lane occurs only a few feet before the street T-bones into Highway 70, which parallels the CSX rail line, and then dead-ends into the Eddie’s Market parking lot directly across Highway 70. The presence of flashing lights and bells is really negated by the lack of crossing gates – items that surely would have prevented Saturday’s crash when the teen motorist stopped too close to the tracks, only to have the SUV struck, dragged and turned on its side.
Before Saturday’s accident, another injury-causing collision occurred at the same crossing in March.
“I know the last two or three people that have gotten into wrecks there were sober, so it’s got to be people on their phone or not paying attention,” observed nearby resident Shad Hannah.
The addition of properly functioning crossing gates would go a long way in getting drivers’ attention. As Anchor Royster observed, based upon residents’ comments, “something needs to be done about crossing safety before it’s too late.”