(Suffolk, Virginia – December 12, 2020)
A local motorist and his passenger were transported to the hospital with serious injuries after their vehicle was struck by a CSX freight train. The collision occurred at a dangerous, unguarded crossing near the 1300 block of Portsmouth Boulevard in Suffolk, Virginia. The passenger, a young boy, was airlifted to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The crossing is classified by the railroad as a private crossing. As a result, it is unclear if the CSX train timely blew the train horn on approach to this crossing as CSX does not mandate the sounding of train horns at all private crossings.
The dangerous private crossing accommodates an average of four freight trains at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. Despite the relatively low vehicle traffic volume at this private crossing, this collision marked the sixth to occur there. As mentioned, this crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is almost certain that the installation of active warning devices would have prevented this tragedy as well as the five before it.