(Fremont, Ohio – June 2, 2020)
A 56-year-old Fremont Ohio resident was killed last Tuesday morning at about 8:40 AM, EDT when his 1997 GMC Sonoma pickup truck was struck by a Norfolk Southern train. The collision occurred at the crossing of Norfolk Southern tracks and Stone Street in Fremont, Ohio. The victim, Donald Macleod, was driving on Stone Street when his pickup was struck by the freight train.
The collision is the tenth accident to occur at the unguarded crossing. Despite the high number of prior collisions, the crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that lights and gates could have prevented this collision and the nine before it. Norfolk Southern 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 collisions by as much as 96%.
The Ohio State Patrol was investigating whether or not a medical condition contributed to the accident, which was the crossing’s first fatality to go along with two non-fatal injuries to occur there. But regardless, the fatality as well as the nine previous accidents probably would have been avoided had the crossing been equipped with flashing lights and gates.