When a car and train collide in a rail crossing crash, the results can be devastating for the driver and/or passengers in the vehicle. This was illustrated recently when a Ford Focus at Hunts crossing in Norge, Virginia (VA) near Williamsburg was hit by an Amtrak train. The impact of the wreck was so severe that the driver of the car, Doris Antczak, died. The 135 passengers on the train were unharmed.
We don't know the exact details of what caused the car-train accident, but we do know that the Hunts rail crossing features stop signs, but no gates. This is the second train-car crash at this particular crossing in a month. We also know that the train was traveling 77 miles per hour, close to the maximum allowable speed of 79 miles per hour, according to wtop.com.
Important questions that need to be answered include whether or not the train gave adequate warning when approaching the rail crossing. Keep in mind, a train traveling 77 mph needs roughly one full mile to stop. Reports indicate the train applied their brakes, but could not stop in time, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
My deepest sympathies go out to the Antczak family. Losing someone you love is never easy, but it is especially difficult when you lose them in a sudden accident. Unfortunately, many families are forced to grieve from this type of accident. Close to 250 people were killed in rail crossing wrecks last year, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.