(Ganado, Texas – October 18, 2018)
A 43-year-old female resident of Ganado, TX was taken to a Victoria, TX hospital where she was admitted in stable condition. Susannah Eliabet Sachtleben was taken to Citizens Medical Center after her 2015 Cadillac Escalade received heavy damage when she collided with a northbound Kansas City Southern (KCS) freight train.
The collision occurred at the private, unguarded crossing of KCS railroad tracks and Herins Ranch Road just outside of Ganado, TX Thursday afternoon about 12:04 P.M., CDT Thursday. Due to the “private” nature of this crossing, it is unclear whether the horn was ever blown. The crossing accommodates a daily average of 10 KCS trains cross at a maximum allowable speed of 59 mph. U.S. Highway 59 parallels the KCS rails through much of Jackson County, and Herins Ranch Road exits the highway just a few yards before the KCS tracks.
Despite the frequency and speed of trains, there are no active warning devices at this crossing. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision and the three before it would not have happened. KCS and Operation Lifesaver both 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%.