(Ada, Ohio – March 30, 2016)
A mother and her daughter-in-law were seriously injured after their vehicle was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Liberty Township Road 55 (Van Atta Road). The train was travelling on the rails of a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary in the Hardin County, OH community of Ada Wednesday morning at about 7:10 A.M., EDT
Both victims, Mikala Rostofer, who had to be rescued by Ada-Liberty Fire Dept. personnel from the mangled vehicle she was driving, and her daughter-in-law, Katrina Davis-Rostofer, were taken to undisclosed hospitals for treatment of injuries incurred in the crash. , Trains travel at speeds up to 40 mph at the single-track Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern crossing where the accident occurred.
The crossing has no active warning devices such as crossing gates, bells and flashing lights. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision would not have happened. Genesee & Wyoming, Norfolk Southern, and Operation Lifesaver all 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%.
There were two previous accidents at this crossing which injured a total of five motorists and their passengers.
Norfolk Southern trains operate via trackage rights over the short line CFW&E rails. The CFW&E is one of 121 freight railroads worldwide operated by the massive Genesee & Wyoming railroad conglomerate.