RAILROAD CROSSING SAFETY - Sheriff Officer Hit - could have been any of us.

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USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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A Midland County (Texas) Sheriffs Deputy was struck by a train while responding to a "baby not breathing" emergency and surprisingly "walked away from" the wreckage.

Railroad grade crossings are DANGEROUS ! ! !

This incident was caught on camera and should be a valuable lesson to all of us no matter what kind of vehicle we are operating.

https://www.myfoxzone.com/article/n...icle/513-34b55b79-d0eb-4373-aa14-57825847f03f

It was in this same general area several years ago that a parade float carrying wounded veterans was hit by a train with horrific injuries and tragic deaths resulting. That story also made national news.



Side note:
Our XM818 Semi Tractor came out of a Midland County Sheriffs Office auction.
 

Ferroequinologist

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I have days off my life from the heart stopping incidents when someone pulls out in front of me, runs the gates, or is trespassing... All I can do is set the brakes, make noise and hold on. And sometimes there isn't time to do any of it...

The industry average is you will kill someone every 2 years of your career...
 

Dock Rocker

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I have days off my life from the heart stopping incidents when someone pulls out in front of me, runs the gates, or is trespassing... All I can do is set the brakes, make noise and hold on. And sometimes there isn't time to do any of it...

The industry average is you will kill someone every 2 years of your career...
Wow. That is an astounding figure. That’s got to be tough on you guys.

It’s crazy people can’t understand there is no way to win against a train.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

swbradley1

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I was just on the police page for a small railroad in North Carolina.

Lucky the deputy wasn't killed.

After seeing the video we had a woman killed close by for the same thing. Two tracks and she didn't see the one coming.
 
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M813rc

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When I was a collision reconstructionist, I was invited by Union Pacific to ride in the cab of their E8-powered business train to get the driver's point of view on level crossings. We did a short trip, about 85 miles, through Austin and all the other towns between there and the other side of San Antonio.
I knew it happened, but was amazed at how many people went around the crossing arms and/or ignored the signals. On at least 50% of the crossings, people drove across at what I thought a very risky distance.

In the OP's incident in Midland, that was an unfortunate but understandable action when one is trying to go save a baby, and I'm very glad the officer survived.

Cheers
 

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Guyfang

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When I was a very young boy, I would guess about 1962. I spent the summer in Wills Point, Texas. A car full of young people drove around the crossing gates, across the double set of tracks, Windows ruled up, loud music playing. They never heard the air horn. We did, and the sound of the crash. It took the train about a mile to stop, if not further. The car was turned into small pieces scattered along the way. No one lived. I didn't sleep for two days. Every time I look at a crossing, I think about that.
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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When I was a collision reconstructionist, I was invited by Union Pacific to ride in the cab of their E8-powered business train to get the driver's point of view on level crossings. We did a short trip, about 85 miles, through Austin and all the other towns between there and the other side of San Antonio.
I knew it happened, but was amazed at how many people went around the crossing arms and/or ignored the signals. On at least 50% of the crossings, people drove across at what I thought a very risky distance.

In the OP's incident in Midland, that was an unfortunate but understandable action when one is trying to go save a baby, and I'm very glad the officer survived.

Cheers
Thanks for that perspective, Sir.

I was not going to mention it but.....

When I first saw this news and the video I had a bit of a flashback.

So, here's a story.....

Turn back the clocks to the first day of school for the '64-'65 school year. It was the first day of Junior High School for my sisters, twins four years older than me. It was the first time I'd be walking to the elementary school to the north of our house while they would start out to the south headed for their new school. A block and a half from our house was the Erie-Lackawana Railroad Station at Arlington Station (Kearny), New Jersey. Each morning the frequent commuter trains would be taking folks to work eastbound toward New York City. The Hudson River was just about 7 miles further east. Each evening, the routes were reversed and the traffic was predominantly westbound. Early trains both morning and evening would shuttle back for a second run toward NYC.

As my sisters and I left the house, and Mom saw us off, there was suddenly a huge commotion down the street at the station. Five of my sisters' classmates had waited for a train that had stopped at the station to pull away from the crossing, then they darted past the last car much as the Deputy in the video above had done. A second train "expressing" through the crossings hit all five of them. They never had a chance.

While some of my memory of precise details this 7-year old boy witnessed have by the grace of God faded, the trauma gets new life with news of train wrecks and fatalities as often as the news is broadcast. I was relieved to hear that the incident that spawned this thread was survived.

I pray for all involved - particularly the helpless locomotive crew unable to prevent the impending collision. I pray for the Deputy, and all in his department and community of first responders - all of whom would most probably have crossed with equal haste to save a child. And, I pray that we might all come away from this news with a fresh safety awareness around railway grade crossings.

Be safe, my friends. We have too much to live for!
 
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Soupermike

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I worked for UP for 3 years and CN for another 3. I was lucky enough not to hit anyone. Came close too many times. My last trip on UP, I was the brakeman on a local. We were on an SD40-2 and had some teenagers running along the track. All but 1 crossed way before we got close to them. The last waited until he was so close that we couldn't see him over the nose of the engine. I applied the emergency brake as the engineer applied his and looked out the conductors window. He rolled on the ground, stood up and flipped us off and then ran in to the woods. Almost had a stroke that day!!
 

Wire Fox

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I saw this yesterday and showed my wife, too. Even without any caption, you can tell what was about to happen. After I saw the hit, I was actually a bit relieved to see just where the impact occurred. I think this deputy would have been in much, much worse shape if he had gotten just a bit farther forward, because a strike directly to the side of his cab would have transferred way more energy into his truck and likely caused him much worse harm. With where he did get hit, most of the energy was on the engine bay and easily threw his truck to the side rather than tumbling down the tracks. His timing was just...****ed lucky. As much as people wanted to tear into him for the mistake he made (on the Facebook posts related to this), I absolutely understand how he made his mistake and I think it's reasonable that many more will make the same mistake again. I just hope for those that do, they have the same kind of luck this deputy did and little harm comes from it.
 

frank8003

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Here is S Florida.......
At midnight on May 18, 2019, the stretch of the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) that runs from Hallandale Beach to Deerfield Beach became what is known as a “quiet zone,” meaning that, from now on, all trains traveling the corridor will not signal their horns as they approach railroad crossings.
Brightline, (Virgin Trains USA), runs express commuter service with 32 trains a day running along the FEC tracks.

It has been reported that since Brightline began test runs in the summer of 2017, there have been 15 train deaths on the FEC tracks, and at least ten people have been seriously injured. Some of the casualties were ruled suicides; others were due to “trespassers,” meaning people on areas of the tracks where they shouldn’t be. Broward County is number one in the state, and number eight in the nation, for trespassers on railroad tracks, Calvaresi said.
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Here is S Florida.......
At midnight on May 18, 2019, the stretch of the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) that runs from Hallandale Beach to Deerfield Beach became what is known as a “quiet zone,” meaning that, from now on, all trains traveling the corridor will not signal their horns as they approach railroad crossings.
Brightline, (Virgin Trains USA), runs express commuter service with 32 trains a day running along the FEC tracks.

It has been reported that since Brightline began test runs in the summer of 2017, there have been 15 train deaths on the FEC tracks, and at least ten people have been seriously injured. Some of the casualties were ruled suicides; others were due to “trespassers,” meaning people on areas of the tracks where they shouldn’t be. Broward County is number one in the state, and number eight in the nation, for trespassers on railroad tracks, Calvaresi said.
Once again it seems the lunatics are running the asylum !

What a CRAZY decision and flagrant disregard for safety.
 

swbradley1

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Once again it seems the lunatics are running the asylum !

What a CRAZY decision and flagrant disregard for safety.
Nope, whining people who can't sleep at night due to air horns. I used to spend a lot of time in Ft Lauderdale and stayed at the Holiday Inn next to the tracks. I always asked for the room facing the tracks. Horns never bothered me.
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Nope, whining people who can't sleep at night due to air horns. I used to spend a lot of time in Ft Lauderdale and stayed at the Holiday Inn next to the tracks. I always asked for the room facing the tracks. Horns never bothered me.
Good point.
Our home in NJ was just 1-1/2 blocks from the tracks with several crossings through town. Lots of whistle blowing day and night. We had no problems sleeping through it, even in the hotter weather with our windows open - no A/C in those days.
Additionally, the approach for Newark International Airport was over the Hackensack Meadowlands and the air traffic tracked just a mile east of us. Inbound flight were considerably less noisy than the ROAR fo the outbout, pre-noise suppression rules passenger jets of the 1960's & 1970's. Bus routes also traced up and down the next street to the front of the house as well. Needless to say, I was nurtured to be able to sleep with ALL the BIG CITY noises all through the night.
Still to this day,I can fall asleep and even get quite well rested anywhere, anytime.

This screenshot shows a line from our old home in Kearny NJ to the World Trade Center site on Mannhatten, NYC, NY.....

Screenshot (301).jpg
Yup, Google Earth measures it at just 7.80 miles as the crow flies.
 

Guyfang

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Nope, whining people who can't sleep at night due to air horns. I used to spend a lot of time in Ft Lauderdale and stayed at the Holiday Inn next to the tracks. I always asked for the room facing the tracks. Horns never bothered me.
When I lived in Roy Utah, I lived about 100 meters from the tracks. After a week, I never heard the trains again. We have this sort of problem VERY bad here in Germany. People complain/sue over EVERYTHING. Some have taken the community and churches to court, over ringing church bells and cow bells. What a sad thing.
 

Weller

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I can sit on my porch on any given evening and listen to the sounds of Union Pacific diesels climbing the grade to the Tehachapi Loop some 30 miles away. It's a beautiful thing.
 

simp5782

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I didnt mind them when I lived on the high line in Montana but when they would come thru with the big D9 and D10s on the cars loaded headed to the mines it seemed like the ground was shaking alot more those days
 

marchplumber

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Have a crossing several miles away, through the valley, can hear the horn and sound of the train. As another mentioned, "Train wins" and everyone loses. Can't imagine the lbs of kinetic energy let alone the sheer mass. Hmmmm
 

Guyfang

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I didnt mind them when I lived on the high line in Montana but when they would come thru with the big D9 and D10s on the cars loaded headed to the mines it seemed like the ground was shaking alot more those days
The first 6 months I lived in Roy, I slept under a ping pong table. My brother often would place marbles on top of it. Yes, that would sometimes wake me up.
 

M813rc

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I think this deputy would have been in much, much worse shape if he had gotten just a bit farther forward, because a strike directly to the side of his cab would have transferred way more energy into his truck and likely caused him much worse harm.
You are exactly right on this.
Trying not to be too technical here - there is X amount of energy that the train is going to impart on the police vehicle (and vice versa, but the energy being applied Tahoe-to-train is meaningless in this instance!). How that energy transfer happens is very important.
In this case, the strike area on the vehicle is far forward, so most of the energy imparted on the Tahoe goes into rotation, as in spinning the vehicle around, thus the driver, closer to the pivot point, endures significantly less acceleration forces than the front of the truck, and way less than if he had been subjected to a straight side acceleration.
Then there is the actual impact trauma from a direct side hit to consider, the train is going to go through the car to some extent before it starts pushing it.

The human body can absorb a significant amount of acceleration/deceleration forces frontwards and backwards, but by comparison surprisingly little from side to side, particularly from the left side. A direct side hit collision of as little as 25mph can be fatal, cause of death is usually "transected descending aorta".

That's probably way more than anyone was interested in, so I'll stop now.

Cheers
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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You are exactly right on this.
Trying not to be too technical here - there is X amount of energy that the train is going to impart on the police vehicle (and vice versa, but the energy being applied Tahoe-to-train is meaningless in this instance!). How that energy transfer happens is very important.
In this case, the strike area on the vehicle is far forward, so most of the energy imparted on the Tahoe goes into rotation, as in spinning the vehicle around, thus the driver, closer to the pivot point, endures significantly less acceleration forces than the front of the truck, and way less than if he had been subjected to a straight side acceleration.
Then there is the actual impact trauma from a direct side hit to consider, the train is going to go through the car to some extent before it starts pushing it.

The human body can absorb a significant amount of acceleration/deceleration forces frontwards and backwards, but by comparison surprisingly little from side to side, particularly from the left side. A direct side hit collision of as little as 25mph can be fatal, cause of death is usually "transected descending aorta".

That's probably way more than anyone was interested in, so I'll stop now.

Cheers
Well stated. And well ended.
I'm not going to describe this from the funeral home's perspective other than to say that I am very glad this deputy survived to serve another day.
 
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