(Goose Creek, South Carolina – July 30, 2011)
An Amtrak passenger train struck an automobile trapped on railroad tracks a little before 11:30 P.M. Saturday night at the dubiously-designed, though highly signalized, crossing of Red Bank Road and CSX Railroad tracks in Goose Creek, SC.
The crash injured the driver, sending his auto careening into three more vehicles which were waiting at the crossing. CSX tracks closely parallel Highway 52 through Goose Creek, leaving little room for vehicles on Red Bank Road to access, cross or enter the highway due to traffic lights, even though they are allegedly equipped with simultaneous pre-emption and constant warning time in an attempt to prevent such occurrences. Yet, police say vehicles frequently “park” on the tracks, which they contend is illegal.
The victim was transported to the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Amtrak train speeds at that location can be as high as 79 mph. FRA records show the crossing has experienced 17 accidents since 1977, resulting in 4 deaths and 6 non-fatal injuries.