(Crawford, Texas – March 13, 2013)
The driver of a flatbed wrecker, on his way to pick up a disabled vehicle, died at about 4:45 P.M. Wednesday afternoon when his vehicle was struck and dragged a considerable distance by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Simpson Road and BNSF railroad tracks just outside of Crawford, TX.
David Reid McCartney, 28, of Waco, TX was eastbound on Simpson Road and was hit by the southbound BNSF train at the crossing which has no active protective devices (flashing lights, bells and crossing gates) and depends totally upon a pair of standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs to protect the drivers and occupants of highway vehicles from collisions with trains. Railroad sources have long said that the addition of active crossing protection could eliminate more than 90% of crossing accidents such as occurred Wednesday.
The victim was ejected from the wrecker truck upon impact with the train, and the truck and its wreckage was strewn along the tracks as the train eventually came to a halt.
The BNSF/Simpson road crossing accommodates 25 trains daily, including Amtrak passenger trains, at speeds as high as 65 mph, and has experienced one other fatal accident in the past.