Dangerous Crossing - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Dangerous Crossing

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Wichita Falls, TX - The whistle of a train warns drivers and pedestrians of what's coming down the tracks, but many times it's not enough to stop some people from trying to beat it. 

The intersection of FM 369 and Old Iowa Park Road has been the crash site of three different accidents in the last six months.  

It was train vs. truck in November, in June an elderly woman was killed and Thursday morning another vehicle was smashed. The person inside was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Barry Shaw, an Iowa Park resident was driving his motorcycle down Business 287 headed home before Newschannel 6 flagged him down to talk about rail road crossings.

"We have a lot of traffic that comes through this area and we have the trains that come through almost every hour," said Shaw. "In fact, I hear one coming in the distance now." 

In less than an hour we encountered two trains and one driver who beat the cross guards going over the tracks.  

"They do give plenty of warning as far as how far away they'll take and they'll start sound their horn," said Shaw. 

Joe Faust, Director of Public Relations for Burlington Northern Santa Fe said the federal government requires train conductors to sound their horns 1500 ft. before reaching any crossing. 

"The pattern is two longs, a short and a long blast and that last long whistle will last through the crossing," said Faust. 

Faust said the train that hit a person Thursday was going 57 mph and the crossing where the accident occurred was fully installed with safety features."This particular crossing was equipped with stop signs, flashing lights and gates," said Faust.

He said if that doesn't get the drivers attention, locomotive engineers might be sound off a different horn sequence in hopes it will signal them to get out of the way.

"We all know that train will probably take a mile to stop when it's doing 40 or 50 mph," said Shaw. "They only thing you can do and must do are go head and break through it. Damage to your car is nothing compared to the damage that the train will do." 

In 2013 the Federal Railroad Administration said more than 2,000 people were hit by trains, 250 were killed and more than 900 people were injured.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6