(Bowling Green, Kentucky – July 28, 2014)
A newspaper carrier for the Bowling Green Daily News, barely escaped with her life Monday afternoon at about 1:51 P.M. when her Isuzu Rodeo SUV was struck, spun around and heavily damaged by a Central Kentucky Lines R. J. Corman short line conglomerate train loaded with aluminum ingots at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Murphy Road in Bowling Green, KY. The newspaper carrier was struck while she was in the process of distributing copies of the evening paper’s customers along her assigned route,
Local resident Rhonda King, 41, was treated at the scene for various injuries after the train struck her vehicle with a glancing blow at the crossing, which provides no advance notice of approaching trains, which can be operating at a speed of 40 mph. The view for motorists at the railroad crossing is also hampered by trees, vegetation, a merging side road and extreme angles of approach. The crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates, this accident could have been prevented. Both Central Kentucky Lines and Operation Lifesaver know 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%
King did everything she could to stop her vehicle, leaving 200 feet of skid marks before the collision with the train’s leading locomotive. “I’ll be sore, but I’m very lucky,” surmised the victim of her near-fatal experience with the train.
Warren County Sheriff’s Office personnel quickly shut down any speculation of drug or alcohol involvement by the motorist, noting as well the proper use of her seat belt having been in place.
The railroad is one of the R. J. “Rick” Corman privately-held railroad properties in the estate of the late founder, who died of cancer in 2013.