(Kenner, Louisiana – January 24, 2012)
Two as-yet unidentified individuals were killed Tuesday afternoon about 2:50 P.M. when their SUV was struck by Amtrak’s “City of New Orleans” train with 62 passengers and eight crew members on board at a dangerous, unguarded private crossing of Canadian National railroad tracks near the Kenner/St. Charles Parish, LA line.
The temperament of the tragedy immediately took a non-sympathetic blame-game attitude.
The crossing was equipped only with passive railroad crossbuck and highway “stop” signs it possessed neither flashing lights, bells, nor gates to protect motorists from oncoming trains. Inexplicably, media access was completely denied, a tactic usually indicative of a need to conceal facts regarding the tragic accident. Kenner Police Dept. Lt. Wayne McInnis told the media that “You have to understand, this is a private road.”
“There’s a sign that’s directly behind you that clearly says that this road is strictly for the East Jefferson Levee District’s or the aviation board’s use to get to the back of the airport, or public safety officials,” Lt. McInnis explained, adding that “This is not an open roadway.”
The victims, whose SUV was flung into a trackside ditch, were not employed at the levee district or the aviation board, nor were they workers at a construction site not far from the site of the tragedy. Both were declared dead at the scene.