A crash involving a van carrying Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad workers and a BNSF freight train in Kelso, Washington (WA), on March 23, 2011, left three of the rail employees dead and a fourth man in the vehicle with severe injuries. As noted in the KATU-TV news report below, the fatal accident occurred in a busy rail yard with multiple unmarked grade crossings that lacked warning lights and gates.
Rail yards are dangerous workplaces where crashes and other accidents happen far too frequently. Exactly what caused the collision in which the BNSF worker lost their lives has yet to be determined, but the absence of controls on track access may have played a role. Placing too many barriers around the tracks in a yard would disrupt work flow, but some protection and warning for employees should be provided.