(Jemison, Alabama – November 29, 2021)
A motorist was killed and four others (three children and one adult) were injured after a CSX freight train collided with their vehicle Monday afternoon at about 4:27 pm. The driver, Lori Ann Parker, was pronounced deceased at the scene. According to Jemison police, a 24-year-old passenger was transported to UAB Hospital via helicopter, an 11-year-old passenger was transported in critical condition to Children’s Hospital via helicopter, and a 16-year-old and 13-year-old passenger who suffered internal injuries were transported to Children’s Hospital via ambulance.
The collision occurred at the dangerous and unguarded crossing at Guy Street in Jemison, Alabama. The CSX crossing accommodates an average of 11 trains a day at typical speeds of 50 mph. Despite the relatively high number of trains and train speeds, the crossing is unprotected by any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. The crossing has also been the site of three previous collisions, resulting in at least on additional fatality.
It is virtually certain that this collision and the three before it could have been prevented if lights and gates were installed. CSX 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%.
Jemison police are continuing to investigate this tragic collision.