(Sudan, Texas – April 23, 2016)
A 48-year-old Littlefield, TX resident was dead and the 47-year-old driver and an unidentified three-year-old boy were both airlifted by AeroCare helicopter to Lubbock’s University Medical Center after their southbound Chevrolet Equinox SUV was struck by an eastbound BNSF freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Lamb County Road 115 and BNSF Railway tracks at about 11:00 A.M., CDT Saturday morning.
Ismael Ojeda was pronounced dead at the scene of the tragic collision, while Alicia Molina and the young boy, both also from Littlefield, received serious injuries. T collision occurred at the crossing near U.S. Highway 84 two miles east of Sudan, TX, where there are no active warning devices, such as lights and gates. According to Federal Railroad Administration records, 16 BNSF trains cross there daily at a maximum allowable speed of 55 mph. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision would not have happened. Both BNSF and Operation Lifesaver all 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 accidents by as much as 96%.
Texas Dept. of Public Safety troopers and Lamb County Sheriff’s Office deputies were investigating the tragic crash.