(Delaware Township, Pennsylvania – May 10, 2015)
Mothers’ Day became a nightmare for a Greenville, Pennsylvania family of four at about 2:00 P.M., EDT Sunday when they were eastbound on Young Road in Delaware Township, Mercer County, PA and were struck at a dangerous and unguarded grade crossing by a southbound pair of Canadian National locomotives headed for Butler County to pick up a train of rail cars.
Mark Addison, 40, his wife and daughters, ages 13 and 9, were headed for his boyhood home when their vehicle was hit on the passenger side by the CN train. The vehicle was totaled, Mrs. Addison was knocked unconscious, and all four occupants were transported by ambulance to a local hospital with what were described as “non life-threatening injuries.”
According to Sharon Herald Staff Writer Melissa Klaric, police faulted the fact that “the crossing is marked with only a wooden black and white ‘railroad crossing’ sign; there are no lights, gates or bells.” It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Canadian National 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 accidents by as much as 96%.
Klaric also wrote that “the accident could have been much worse if the engines were hauling more weight (railroad freight cars) behind them.”
Federal Railroad Administration records indicate that up to a half dozen trains cross Young Road daily at maximum speeds of 35 mph.
Pennsylvania Highway Patrol troopers were assisted by the Hempfield Township Police and Fredonia Volunteer Fire Dept. in responding to the near-tragedy.