(Splendora, Texas – February 13, 2023)
The driver of an 18-wheeler died early Monday morning when his semi was struck by a Union Pacific Railroad freight train at a dangerous, unguarded railroad crossing. The railroad crossing is located near Interstate 69/U.S. 59 near its intersection with Fostoria and Midline roads, between the towns of Splendora and Cleveland in the Houston area. The collision also resulted in the derailment of 21 train cars.
The victim involved in the collision has not been identified. According to the Splendora Police Department, factors that lead to this collision is still under investigation. It is unclear if the train horn was properly sounded prior to this collision.
However, it is clear that the railroad crossing lacked any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that the addition of lights and gates could have prevented this tragedy. Union Pacific 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 collisions by as much as 96%.