(Athens, Texas – October 24, 2014)
A collision occurred two Friday’s ago between a Union Pacific freight train consisting of 83 cars and three locomotives and a Ford F-150 pickup truck at the dangerous intersection of UPRR tracks and North Wofford Street in the east Texas city of Athens.
According to News Editor Rich Flowers of the Athens Review, Eva Pearl Lee, 53, of Athens received “incapacitating but not life-threatening” injuries when her vehicle was totaled by the collision, winding up in a grassy area near the former Cotton Belt Railway main line. Lee was rushed via EMS to East Texas Medical Center in Athens.
The victim probably never saw the train that hit her. The UP/North Wofford Street intersection, where the Federal Railroad Administration says 20 trains cross daily at a maximum speed of 60 mph, does not have any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver know 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%.
A previous accident occurring there resulted in no injuries.