A pickup truck carrying two men was crossing Furnace Street headed towards Greever Avenue when they were hit by a Norfolk Southern coal train in Bluefield, Virginia (VA). Their truck was dragged 30 feet before the train finally came to a stop.
View Larger Map
The two men suffered injuries to their neck and back, according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Even with the injuries, both men are somewhat lucky. Most people involved in a truck-train crash wind up paralyzed, suffering a traumatic brain injury, or worst of all, losing their life.
The rail crossing there the wreck occurred is a "quiet zone." This means that trains are not allowed to sound horns and bells when they approach the grade crossing. Did this attribute to the truck-train accident? It's certainly possible.
This isn't the first time a quiet zone rail crossing was the scene of a train accident. Two boys in Kennesaw, Georgia (GA) were hit by a train back in March.The issue surrounding these quiet zones remains the trade-off between safety and public annoyance. Yes, having a train blow a loud horn can be annoying, especially if you live near a rail crossing that is heavily traveled by multiple trains, but requiring trains to be "quiet" leads to an increased risk of serious rail crossing accidents similar to one that occurred in Bluefield