(Burnsville, Alabama – April 25, 2014)
A 34-year-old Selma, AL woman was killed late Friday afternoon just before 6:00 P.M. when she attempted to cross and was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train near the unincorporated community of Burnsville, AL, just east of Selma, AL, at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Dallas County Road 826 near its intersection with Alabama State Route 14.
Candis Solomon Vice was driving her 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe when the train struck and cast it into a nearby drainage ditch.
The NS/CR 826 intersection is not equipped will any active warning devices. Even though the CR 826 crossing of NS tracks sees only about eight trains daily, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, which can travel at a maximum speed of 49 mph, among the limited highway traffic using the crossing daily are a half-dozen school buses.
It is virtually certain that lights and gates would have prevented this incident. Both Norfolk Southern and Operation Lifesaver know 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%.
Burnsville Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Steve Brewer said his paramedics attempted to resuscitate the victim at the scene, but were unsuccessful, and Dallas County Coroner’s officials pronounced her dead.
The Alabama State Highway Patrol said the accident was still under investigation.