Teen Dies After Being Struck by Train

In Mobile, Alabama, two teen-aged boys were walking along the train tracks near the Dog River about 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  According to the police report, although both boys heard the train horn, they ignored the warning and stayed on the tracks.  This was a fatal decision on their part as the the train could not stop and struck the boys, with the collision killing 15-year-old D’Angelo Winston.

When a train weighing several hundred tons collides with a car weighing one ton or a pedestrian weighing 150 pounds, there is a good chance that the collision will end in injury or even death.  According to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, in the United States in 2008, there were 9,232 train accidents, with 6,297 serious injuries and 637 fatalities due to these accidents. 

There are ways to prevent both train/vehicle and train/pedestrian collisions from happening. 

Do not walk on or along train tracks, as this is both dangerous and illegal.  Although both boys in the Alabama train collision did hear the warning whistle of the train, many modern trains are fairly quiet and a trespasser on the tracks may not be able to hear the train’s approach.

When driving a motor vehicle, never stop on a train track.  Keep in mind that a train is approximately six feet wider than the tracks themselves.

Only cross train tracks in designated spots for vehicles and pedestrians, and make sure you look both ways even if the crossing lights are not blinking.

Dozens of people are killed by entering a train tunnel or by crossing a train trestle.  Make sure you stay out of and off of these structures as there in no way to escape an oncoming train.

And finally, understand how hard it is for a train to come to a stop.  It is imperative to keep out of the way of a moving train as it takes a loaded train traveling 55 mph approximately a mile to come to a complete stop.