Three members of a Hannibal, MO family – a father, his 4-year-old daughter, and his 2-year-old son, were headed back from a fishing trip on Tuesday when they began crossing a railroad crossing at the wrong time. Their van was immediately pummeled by an incoming train. Amazingly, though the van was destroyed, no one in the family was injured. The crossing itself is outfitted with flashing lights but no protective gate.
According to Randy McReynolds, the 24-year-old father involved in the accident, he always looks both ways when crossing the tracks. This time he was distracted by a call on his cell phone. The train engineer claims he was sounding the horn but the van did not slow. No skid marks are present at the scene.
It is astonishing that the family survived with no injuries. It is a scary reminder to travelers that we must always be alert at railroad crossings. Hopefully it will be a warning to the local authorities as well that this active, busy, dangerous railroad crossing needs a protective gate to prevent another, more serious accident.