(Terry County, Texas — January 6, 2018)
A 22-year-old school teacher died instantly at about 10 PM, CST Friday night when her vehicle collided with the side of a Lubbock & Western Railway train. The train was pulling black oil tank cars across an unguarded crossing in Terry County, TX near Seagraves, TX. The parent company of the LBWR is the privately-owned Watco Company, which operates 37 railroads in the US and Western Australia from its Pittsburg, KS headquarters.
Margaret Redecop was driving northbound on Old Seagraves Road when she struck the Watco subsidiary train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing. The train drug her car some distance down the tracks until it was thrown into a trackside ditch. The crossing, is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was protected by active warning devices, this collision would not have occurred. Both the Watco 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%.