(Catoosa, Oklahoma – October 9, 2014) A
Sperry, OK woman died from injuries she received Thursday night about 8:00 P.M. when she exited her Chevrolet Blazer, which had become stuck on the narrow, slightly humped private crossing near the intersection of 193rd East Avenue and Tiger Switch Road east of Catoosa, OK, only to have the vehicle knocked into her by an eastbound BNSF freight train as she stood away from the tracks and crossing.
The crossing has no active warning system, such as lights and gates. However, that factor likely did not come into play, as the driver became stuck prior to the presence of the Memphis, TN-bound train.
Catoosa Police and emergency personnel were called to the scene, and searched for the victim, June Plummer, 59, as well as her vehicle, scouring the area alongside of the tracks east of 193rd East Avenue in the twilight, finally finding the critically injured victim lying near the railroad tracks. She was taken by ambulance to a Tulsa hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries a short time after her arrival.
Plummer’s totaled vehicle was found in a wooded area near the tracks.
The 27 daily trains which run through the rail corridor are authorized to operate at a maximum speed of 45 mph, but BNSF Public Affairs Director Joe Faust said the train was only going 35 mph when the disabled vehicle was spotted as the train rounded a gradual curve to the west of the crossing.
BNSF will be working with Catoosa Police and Rogers County Sheriff’s Office officials in conducting the investigation into the tragic accident.