Three people were killed in a railroad crossing accident at a dangerous, unprotected crossing with no lights and gates in Trenton, Missouri on Wednesday.
In addition to the inherent dangers of an unprotected railroad crossing, the crossing environment was made more dangerous by the winter storm running through the area.
According to initial reports, weather was not a factor. Yet even if the winter storm did not directly cause the accident (as in, say, causing the vehicle to slide into the path of the train), the winter storm was quite likely a contributing factor. Motorists in heavy snowfall and unsafe driving conditions tend to pay more attention to the road directly in front of them. Without warning devices which warn motorists of an oncoming train – lights and gates – it is not difficult to see how the driver could have missed an oncoming train while focused on navigating a dangerous road. Good drivers can and do lose their lives when protective equipment is not in place, especially when additional items are added to the list of things a normal driver must be paying attention to.
It is statistically very likely that lights and gates could have prevented this accident. Yet three people lost their lives in this tragic and senseless accident.