Railroad News

Union Pacific Kills Third Motorist at Dangerous, Unguarded Arkansas Crossing

(Atkins, Arkansas—July 8, 2012)

An 80-year-old motorist became the third person to die at the crossing of Avenue 4 Southeast and Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Atkins, Arkansas when her southbound 1993 Honda Accord was struck by an eastbound Union Pacific freight train Sunday afternoon.

Mildred Hill of Atkins, AR was alive when transported to UAMS Medical Center in Little Rock, but died of her injuries Monday night, being pronounced dead at 7:30 P.M. by Pulaski County Coroner Jeff Thrash.

Even though Sunday’s tragedy was the third death and the eighth accident to occur at the Avenue 4 SE crossing of UPRR tracks. Nearly two dozen UP trains cross the double-tracked intersection daily at speeds of up to 60 mph, while the crossing is “protected” solely by standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs, completely lacking any automatic protection such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates that probably would have prevented the victim’s tragic death.

The accident was investigated by Arkansas State Police Trooper Chad Maness.