(Plymouth, Indiana – November 28, 2015)
A 20-year-old driver and his 18-year-old passenger were both transported to an area hospital Saturday night after their car was struck by a Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad freight train at the dangerous and unguarded intersection of Iris Road in Marshall County, IN, near Plymouth, after they first stopped and looked for, but did not see, a train that approached at an extreme angle.
Cody Edge of Plymouth, IN told Marshall County Sheriff’s Dept. officers who responded to the accident that, even though he complied with the highway “stop” signs at the road/rail crossing, stopping and then proceeding, he did not realize the train’s headlights came from a locomotive and not another motor vehicle traveling on Lincoln Highway, which parallels CFE tracks at that point along its 315-mile, two state railroad system, until his passenger called out that the lights were from an approaching train. Edge attempted to reverse his vehicle, but got it stuck in neutral, only to have the train, one of four daily CFE freights which pass over the crossing daily at a top speed of 40 mph, smash into the driver’s side of the auto, spinning it off the crossing to the southeast.
Given the proximity of the highway, the angle of the tracks and, primarily, due to the fact that there were no active warning devices, such as lights and gates, this collision was unfortunately foreseeable. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this accident would not have happened. Both Genesee & Wyoming 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 accidents by as much as 96%.
Both Edge and his unnamed passenger complained of numerous injuries, including head wounds and abdominal pain, and were taken by ambulance as well as relatives’ vehicle to a local hospital.
The Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern is one of 120 railroads owned or operated by the Darien, CT-based rail conglomerate Genesee & Wyoming, which claims operations in numerous countries, especially the USA, on three continents worldwide.