(St. Louis, Missouri – December 18, 2012)
Within a week of the publication of award-winning St. Louis Post Dispatch Writer Todd Frankel’s three-part series describing the heartache and horrors of pedestrians either walking along or crossing over railroad tracks and their tragic encounters with trains, 15 more individuals on foot had lost their lives in accidents on the nation’s railroads.
Fighting against both industry apathy and railroad criticism, Frankel, whose series began December 9 and continued the next two days, has published several subsequent stories and sidebars, each pointing out another failure in a safety system that needs addressing.
According to Frankel’s latest article, the 15 deaths on railroad tracks have ranged from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts, have taken victims young and old and of both genders, and have even established patterns, but still don’t seem sufficient to cause concern – even though their numbers now exceed statistics at railroad crossings in train/motor vehicle encounters, employee fatalities and railroad passenger deaths.
On December 10 , two men, ages 37 and 55, were struck and killed by CSX trains in Ohio, only five hours and 90 miles apart.
Also on December 10, a man was hit by a Union Pacific train in Eugene, OR, the third rail/ pedestrian fatality in Eugene this calendar year.
On December 12 , a 46-year-old man was killed by a Metra commuter passenger train in Chicago-suburban Rogers Park, and the following day, a woman was critically injured by another Metra commuter train in Naperville, IL.
And on December 14, an unidentified individual was killed by an Amtrak passenger train near Titlow Beach in Tacoma, WA in the same area where an August, 2010 Amtrak tragedy took the life of an 18-year-old woman and seriously injured her male companion.