March 14, 2003
Posted at: 2:13 p.m. CST
PALESTINE, Ark. -- Highway officials wanted to install gates at a railroad crossing where a teen and her 9-year-old brother were struck and killed by a train this week.
However, they say Palestine city officials refused, because putting a gate at the spot of the accident would have meant closing of another crossing in the town. Sixteen-year-old Angela Pate and her 9-year-old brother Billy Pate
Junior were killed when their car was stuck on the tracks and was hit by a Union Pacific train Monday. State transportation officials met with Palestine city officials in 1997 to discuss putting a crossing gate where Arkansas 261 crosses the tracks.
But John Waldrip of the highway department says city officials wanted to keep two crossings in the town. But Mayor Willetta Carroll says the city has fought for crossing gates at the site for years with no success. The city doesn't want its other crossing shut down.