OUR VIEW: Tuesday’s wreck is reminder of dangers of railroad crossings

Published 9:30 am Thursday, June 8, 2023

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The recent fatal train collision provides a somber reminder that all railroad crossings should be taken carefully.

On Tuesday afternoon, a LaGrange man was killed after his pickup truck collided with a freight train near the intersection of Willowood Rd. and Hogansville Rd.

At last check, details had not been released by the Georgia State Patrol or CSX, who are investigating the crash. However, in general, fatal collisions like this can be prevented by taking the time to follow railroad crossing safety procedures.

Injuries and deaths occur at rail crossings every day, many of which are preventable and only occurred because drivers ignore safety precautions.

Never drive around a crossing gate trying to beat a train or ignore train warning signals. Those extra few minutes you save simply aren’t worth risking your life.

Always look both ways and make sure you have room to cross before entering the crossing.

After a train passes, wait until the gate fully rises and for lights to stop before crossing and never assume there is only one train coming. A second train can sometimes follow behind another, which can cause crashes when motorists assume the crossing is clear.

Never stop on train tracks. If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get out immediately and get to a safe distance even if you don’t see a train. An emergency number should be posted near the tracks but if you don’t see one, call 911.