(Sullivan Indiana – May 24, 2015)
A Sunday afternoon car-train collision at the non-gated railroad crossing of CSX Transportation tracks and Sullivan County Road 300 North (Glendora Road) in Sullivan, IN added tragedy to the annual Memorial Day weekend when an as-yet unidentified motorist became the second victim of the deadly crossing when a southbound CSX freight train, one of the 26 that pass daily at top allowable speeds of 60 mph, struck the motor vehicle.
Even though the road/rail intersection has now been the site of four accidents, two of them fatal, no one has added crossing gates to the crossing’s safety package. According to Federal Railroad Administration-published statistics, the crossing was accommodating a daily average of 750 vehicles, including five school buses, nearly 20 years ago (1986) and traffic counts have apparently not been updated since.
The first fatality occurred in December, 2000, and the most recent collision before Sunday afternoon’s tragedy was less than a year ago on June 6, 2014. That crash was a non-injury accident, but one on September 19, 2011 resulted in a serious head injury to the motorist.
The existence of heavy tree foliage surrounding the crossing does nothing to improve visibility conditions at the crossing either.