Sonya Crose has been crossing the stretch of train track in Joslin since she was a little girl, and says she believes the trains go too fast, without enough warning.
“When the arms come down, the bells start ringing, the train is already there, they go that fast!” she said.
Crose says a Wednesday accident involving the BNSF train and the back of a semi-truck didn’t surprise her.
“I’m definitely surprised there aren’t more accidents,” she said. Crose’s father worked at the nearby meat packing plant, the place where her husband works now.
“Most of the employees know to be very cautious here, with this crossing, it’s awful. Every day I tell my husband, ‘Drive careful, be careful of the trains.’ Every day he sends me a text message to tell me he’s made it okay,” Crose said.
Vanessa Carlyle has lived next to the stretch of track for ten years, and says there have been a couple of accidents.
“We’re not technically a town, but it is a residential area and I think they should have to slow down. There’s kids in the neighborhood. If you go up to Hillsdale, they go slow through town, but here, they fly by,” Carlyle said.
A spokesperson for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway said the accident is still under investigation. Amy McBeth says the crossings exceed federal standards, and said trains on that stretch of track are allowed to go up to 60 miles per hour.
“We believe these incidences can be prevented,” said McBeth. “Overall when you look at collisions, the BNSF has one of the lowest collision rates in the industry. We have made significant efforts.”
A 71-year-old Moline woman was killed on the Joslin tracks in 2005 when her car was hit by a train near the entrance to the Tyson Foods Plant.
At the time of a lawsuit filed by her son, her attorneys alleged the railroad was negligent, in part due to “an unreasonably high rate of speed” of the oncoming train.
Crose says she wishes the company would consider a longer warning and less speed.
“They need to be more cautious. The next person may not be as lucky as the guy yesterday.”