Railroad Crossing Safety is Up to You

MARMADUKE (KAIT) Sunday's fatal accident is a harsh reminder of how dangerous a rural track crossing can be.

But, authorities say many of these accidents can be prevented.

A teddy bear hangs on the crossing sign. A reminder of Sunday's tragedy.

The accident between a Union Pacific freight train and a pickup truck has left two families grieving.

All that is left at the crossing is a small pile of parts.

Greene County has many miles of tracks and numerous grade crossings.  Crossing accidents are not unusual.

Curtis Davenport, Chief Greene County Rescue. "Unfortunately it's been somewhat common in Greene county since I been on the rescue squad."

Davenport says Greene county has a poor record.

"Greene county has unfortunately for several years been in the top counties in accidents at railroad crossings."

Monday morning a collision investigation team was at the crossing, taking measurements and tagging signs.

The tracks that run along the highway are designed for high speeds.

Even though visibility at this intersection is not a problem, when the time comes you need to pay attention to the stop signs. You need to stop, turn the radio down, look listen, pay attention because when these guys are coming down this track at 60 miles an hour they can't stop for you.

Davenport, "Depending on the speed the weight of the train where it's at you're looking at probably at least a half mile to mile and a half."

Sunday's accident carried the vehicle almost a mile from the impact.

Just because we don't hear or see a train when we use a crossing does not mean one is not coming.

Davenport, "You know it is your responsibility when you get into any kind of crossing whether its signals, lights arms, bells, whistles it's still your responsibility to make sure a trains not coming."

Three simple rules can help keep deadly accidents like Sunday's from occurring.

Davenport, "Stop look and listen is what Operation Life Saver promotes."