(Ottawa County, Ohio – September 20, 2012)
The driver of a 1989 Eagle Summit and his passenger were both injured at about 10:00 P.M. Thursday night when investigators claimed “They apparently did not see the crossing gates” at the intersection of Tettau Road and Norfolk Southern railroad tracks where their southbound compact car struck a NS freight train and was pushed a short distance down the tracks until it became lodged against a railroad crossing sign.
What crossing gates they “failed to see” is a mystery, as the crossing of Tettau Road, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, has no crossing gates to protect the driving public from the 94 trains (which include Amtrak passenger trains) that traverse the double-tracked crossing daily at a top speed of 60 mph.
Jeremiah Pitts, 35, of Lacarne, OH, the driver, was treated at Magruder Memorial Hospital in Port Clinton, OH, while his passenger, Kenneth Godfrey, 32, of Port Clinton, OH was flown to a Mercy St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo, OH, where he was listed in stable condition.
Ohio State Highway Patrol personnel investigating the accident confirmed that “The crossing lights and gates functioning at the time of the crash.”
The Tettau Road/NS crossing is equipped with lights and bells, but no gates, regardless of what authorities thought the victims should have seen.