Railroad News

Three People in Tennessee Killed at Dangerous, Unguarded CSX Crossing

(September 25, 2022—Chapel Hill, Tennessee)

Three victims, all 20 years old, were tragically killed on Saturday after a train crashed into their vehicle in Marshall County, Tennessee. The accident happened at the overpass on Depot Street around 1:30 P.M. resulting in the car being pushed about 600 yards down the track.

One neighbor saw the collision. The witness, Steffon Crutcher, has lived along the railroad tracks for 20 years and heard the sounds of the trains but he heard and saw Saturday “left him and his son in shock.” He told Channel 4, “My son and I were watching the game right here in my shed and we just heard a loud bang. It was louder than a normal train going down the track.” When he saw the smoke, he thought it was a mechanical issue until he saw emergency crews. After first responders confirmed the deaths, Crutcher said this is not the first time this has happened. He said, “I’ve lived here all my life, and the things that I see now just coming through this area right here, it’s a lot busier a lot heavier and there should be something done to be more aware of the situation on the tracks.”

CSX Transportation Inc. owns the crossing where this collision occurred and is responsible for maintaining it. According to CSX submitted records, on average, 10 trains go through per day up to 60 miles per hour.  This is the fourth accident since 1997, with two previous resulting in injuries. Neighbors are praying for the tragedy and pushing officials to make a change.

Despite the relatively high number of trains and their speeds, there are no lights or gates at this crossing to actively warn motorists of a train’s approach. It is virtually certain that the addition of lights and gates could have prevented this tragedy and the prior collisions. CSX 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%.

One of the victim’s boyfriends has created a GoFundMe for the siblings. The money is going to help their mother travel from Venezuela to Nashville and help cover their funeral costs.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.