November 30, 2011
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) says that train accidents occur more often at intersections with no cross arms in front of the tracks. That was the case Wednesday morning when a Hendricks County employee was injured in a collision between his snowplow and a train. According to Channel 13 News, the incident occurred at a crossing with County Road 151 West.
The train’s conductor told sheriff’s deputies that he was heading west at around 45 MPH as he approached the intersection where the accident occurred. He said that the driver of the snowplow slowed his vehicle, but did not completely stop. The conductor attempted to stop the train as the snowplow crawled onto the tracks, but did not have enough time or distance to bring the train to a halt. The two collided and the snowplow rolled–trapping the driver inside.
He was freed by firefighters and paramedics a short time later and was taken to St. Vincent Hospital to be treated for injuries to his legs and arms.
Deputies confirmed that the crossing is marked with a stop sign and railroad crossing warnings, but no cross arm mechanism. According to the FRA, 171 people have died this year in highway-rail accidents.
The Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart would like to encourage motorists to always stop at railroad intersections regardless of if warning lights are blinking or not. You should also turn down your radio and roll down a window so you can hear if a train is coming.