Another horrible train accident took place at the intersection of Ellis Road and Angier Avenue in Durham, North Carolina (NC). Two children died when an Amtrak train slammed into the SUV carrying the children and their mother, according to the News Observer. The mother is currently being treated at Duke University Hospital.
There are many questions that need to be answered regarding this Amtrak train crash. For example, why didn't the train stop? If the SUV was stuck between the tracks and couldn't move, wasn't it visible to the train operator? Did the crossing signals work properly? Was there something wrong with the track profile or grade crossing road surface that hung the car up? Did Amtrak or CSX Railroad, which owns many of the tracks the passenger trains operate on in North Carolina, make changes to warn motorists of the risks associated with getting trapped on the locomotive's path? We'll have to wait and see what the accident report reveals.
This intersection has a history of fatal train wrecks. In total, there have 10 crashes at this exact intersection since 1975 including a recent fatal car-train accident in 2001.
The Amtrak "Carolinian" train was traveling towards Charlotte, North Carolina (NC) and carrying 129 passengers, none of whom were harmed by the accident, according to the reports. However, many of the early reports of the number of injuries to riders on the train are wrong since, unless a life-threatening injury occurs, folks typically get their treatment once they get home or to their destination.
Amtrak has been involved in dozens of accidents in North Carolina (NC). In 2008, Amtrak had 92 train accidents and close to 1,500 train incidences where nearly 120 people were killed. Just a couple weeks ago, two Britthaven nursing home residents were hit and killed by an Amtrak train.
There needs to be a review of the safety procedures for Amtrak. Those accident numbers are unacceptable and a major cause for concern.