(Philadelphia, Tennessee – October 17, 2015)
A 46-year-old Philadelphia, TN woman was killed Saturday evening at about 6:15 P.M. as she was driving her Ford F-150 pickup truck north on Lee Highway (Tennessee Highway 11), which parallels Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, and turned left onto a private farm road when her vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by a NS freight train she probably never heard nor saw before the impact.
The crossing had neither flashing lights nor crossing gates to warn unsuspecting motorists such as the victim, Anna Hope, of the nearly two dozen NS trains that cross there daily at a maximum allowable speed of 60 mph. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this accident would not have happened. Both NS 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%.
Loudon County Sheriff’s officers and Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers investigated the tragic accident which occurred near the Sweetwarter Valley Farm complex.