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Huntsville Police discuss railroad driving safety

Alabama ranks as number 9 in the nation for train collisions and number 8 when it comes to fatalities.

Posted: Dec 17, 2018 5:58 PM

We now know the identities of the 2 people who were killed in a train collision this weekend. The Jefferson County coroner identified the victims as 45-year-old Lloyd Orr Junior and 35-year-old Kristi Cook. The two were in a vehicle and were trying to go around the barriers in place before they were hit by an Amtrak train and ejected from the car. No passangers on the train were injured.

Alabama ranks as number 9 in the nation for train collisions and number 8 when it comes to fatalities. Waay 31 reached out to local law enforcement about why these numbers are so high, and what's being done to bring them down.

A train safety advocacy group in Birmingham, Operation Lifesaver, said a lot of times people cross those tracks because they're in a hurry but they said people don't understand how long it takes to get around those gates and just how quickly the train will get to them.

"People are impatient and will go around them. Those usually result in a wreck when the train is coming that they haven't heard," said Officer David Broom.

Huntsville Traffic Investigator David Broom agreed with the advocacy group. He said often times people think they can beat the train but they misjudge just how fast the train is traveling.

"When a train is coming and the arms are coming down and they think they have enough time they probably don't."

Broom said drivers are legally required to stop any time those arms come down and if the stop doesn't have arms they are required to stop 15 feet from the tracks. Broom said he's worked many train related crashes and the outcome is never pretty.

"We usually don't know what kind of car it is until we look a little deeper because once a train hits a car it's mangled. And it's a terrible sight to see."

Officer Broom said it's possible for the gates to malfunction. That means the gates will come down but there is no train coming. He said if you find yourself in that situation you can call the number that is posted at each railroad crossing. That number will call the train station and alert them of the situation or you can call police. He also told us it is illegal to stop on railroad tracks and if you are caught doing so you will get a ticket.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 540083

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
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Mobile41283809
Madison35157506
Tuscaloosa25925455
Shelby25302249
Montgomery24723593
Baldwin21411310
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Houston10648282
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DeKalb8865188
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Walker7261278
Autauga7005108
Jackson6840112
Blount6773139
Colbert6322135
Coffee5581118
Dale4877113
Russell445738
Chilton4373113
Franklin426382
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394877
Chambers3596123
Dallas3569153
Clarke351561
Marion3140101
Pike312077
Lawrence303098
Winston275873
Bibb264764
Geneva254178
Marengo249865
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale224078
Butler219169
Fayette212862
Henry189943
Cherokee184845
Randolph182542
Monroe178141
Washington167839
Macon161350
Clay157257
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143336
Lowndes140653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter105032
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
Out of AL00
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Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 12312
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby964521629
Davidson89674942
Knox51116636
Hamilton44570496
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Williamson28116217
Sumner24135349
Montgomery20402227
Wilson18907236
Out of TN1822399
Sullivan16952298
Unassigned16918134
Blount15559196
Bradley15100151
Washington14691245
Maury13545172
Sevier13451175
Putnam11437175
Madison11281241
Robertson9793132
Anderson8795171
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McMinn654198
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Roane6318105
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Hawkins6161107
Lawrence598491
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Cocke452499
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Weakley416365
Giles4010100
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White368170
Carroll363483
Macon363178
Hardin358968
Hardeman353764
Henry320676
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Claiborne318873
Scott315245
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Overton302561
Wayne297034
Hickman284746
McNairy284254
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Smith278539
Haywood271562
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