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High School Senior Dies in Alabama Car Accident at Railroad Crossing

May 20, 2011 - Car Accidents, Train Accidents by

Lewis Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Wagarville will be hosting the funeral service of the Leroy High School senior that was killed in the Alabama train accident this past weekend. The 19-year-old student died at roughly 5:00 p.m. last Saturday when she was crossing the train tracks on Sunflower Road, about three miles southwest of Wagarville, according to Alabama Live.

The accident is still being investigated.1008062_train

Our Alabama personal injury attorneys would like to urge all residents to practice caution when traveling through or around our railroad tracks. Alabama is one of the nation’s 10 deadliest states for fatal railroad accidents, according to Operation Lifesaver. Somewhere in America, someone is struck by a train every three hours.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, there were nearly 2,000 incidents that occurred at public highway-railroad crossings in 2009 in the United States. These incidents resulted in nearly 250 deaths and more than 700 injuries. In the same year, more than 430 people were killed while trespassing on railroad rights-of-way and property. Another 343 people suffered injuries in these areas.

The senior student was in her passenger vehicle when the car was struck by the train. She was pronounced dead on the scene, according to Trooper Greg Eubanks.

The student would have graduated from the high school this month.

“She worked extremely hard to graduate,” said Kelly Norstrom, assistant principal at the school. “She was a super, super hard-working child, who would always do anything you asked her to do. And she always did it with a smile.”

News of the death is hitting the students and the faculty hard, reports Norstrom.

The student will be recognized during the commencement exercise this weekend, along with another student who passed away from an illness during the graduating class’s sophomore year.

“We didn’t want graduation to not be a celebration, but we also wanted to remember Rosha and also make sure that our children remembered,” Norstrom said. “It was a devastating loss to our senior class.”

Motorists are urged to follow these tips to help prevent serious injury, or even death, at these dangerous railroad crossings:

-Do not stop once you’ve started. If you start to cross over railroad tracks while the lights are flashing or the gates begin to go down, do not freeze and do not reverse. Your safest bet is to just keep going.

-Keep an eye on the second track. Don’t jet out and cross the track as soon as you see the caboose pass because there may be another train passing on the tracks behind it. Do not cross until the lights have stopped and the gates are pulled completely back.

-Abandon your car immediately if it stalls on the tracks. Get everyone out of the vehicle and safely away from the tracks. Keep a lookout in each direction for an oncoming train. If one approaches, flag a warning, from a distance. Never try to have someone push the car across the tracks or have someone remain in the car to try and start it again. No car is worth risking a human life.

-Don’t let yourself get boxed in. While gates won’t trap you, highway traffic might. Never ever stop on railroad tracks. Be sure you can drive all the way across before proceeding.

-Be extra cautious during the evening hours or in bad weather. Remember that your visibility is greatly reduced in these conditions. Approach railroad tracks at a moderate speed to ensure that no trains are coming. If you’re going to fast, you may not be able to stop in time if a train is coming.

-Don’t get too comfortable with familiar train schedules. Railroads operate around-the-clock and are known to change schedules.

-Don’ try to beat a train across its tracks because when it’s a tie at the crossing YOU LOSE.

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