RED BANKS, MS- Citynews1130.com writes that a freight train hit a van in northwest Mississippi. Two individuals were killed in the incident, and 3 others suffered injuries.*
The crash took place approximately 40 miles southeast of Memphis on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.
According to reports from the county coroner, the two people who died in the crash were ejected from the van. The other victims were transported to hospitals via helicopter. The names of the victims have not yet been released.
Information from the Federal Railroad Administration’s records indicatesthat there have been no crashes in the location of this incident within the last decade. Ten trains travel on the tracks each day and can reach speeds of about 60 miles per hour.
According to Operation Lifesaver, an organization that focuses on train safety, the average train weighs about 400,000 pounds, though many trains weigh much more. When a train strikes a passenger vehicle, the weight ratios are similar to a car hitting a soda can.
It is important that drivers understand that trains always have the right of way, even over ambulances and other emergency vehicles. This is largely because trains simply cannot stop very quickly. If a train is traveling at 55 miles per hour, which is a fairly normal speed for trains, then it would take over a mile for the train to come to a stop. That means that for a train to stop, it can take the length of around 18 football fields.
Operation Lifesaver also reminds drivers and pedestrians that trains are traveling faster than people think and is closer than they think. Modern trains are far less noisy than people realize as well which means that drivers and pedestrians should remain extremely cautious when around train tracks.