(Prospect, Ohio – February 18, 2013)
Two young central Ohio men were seriously injured and flown to a hospital for treatment after their 2009 Pontiac G-6 collided with a southbound CSX freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Park Street and CSX tracks in Prospect, OH Monday night at 7:22 P.M.
Both the driver, Connor Helman, 18, of Prospect, OH and his passenger, Brandon Phillips, 21, of Richwood, OH, had to be extricated from the heavily damaged vehicle by emergency personnel from the Battle Run Volunteer Fire Dept. before they could be airlifted to the Grant Medical Center in Columbus, OH, where both were admitted in stable condition. The pair was eastbound on Park Street and struck the side of the train’s locomotive.
The CSX/Park Street grade crossing not only lacks any active protective devices such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates, but also is surrounded on all four quadrants by trackside buildings and grain elevators, making sight distance a virtual impossibility. The sole protective system consists of a pair of standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs.
According to Federal Railroad Administration records, an average of 17 CSX trains cross Park Street daily at top speeds of 50 mph.
The Ohio State Patrol, Marion County Sheriff’s Dept. and Delaware County EMS also responded to the serious accident.