Alabama State Troopers identify man killed after car hit by train in Limestone County

This is the second deadly wreck at that location in the last two months

Posted: Jun 29, 2019 2:48 PM
Updated: Jun 30, 2019 10:10 AM

A man died Saturday morning after his car was hit by a train in the area of the Tanner community in Limestone County. 

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Troopers identified the driver as Arthur D. Lapietra, 61, from Madison.

It happened where the railroad intersects Laughmiller Road at 7:50 a.m., which is about a mile north of Decatur.

The Limestone County Coroner said Lapietra was heading west on the road when his 2007 Saab was hit by a train. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

This is the second deadly wreck at that location in the last two months. On May 9, Luis Cruz was killed when his car collided with a train.

Neighbors told WAAY 31 they plan on bringing their concerns to the Limestone County commission after these deadly wrecks.
One commissioner says they are aware of the problem, but can't do anything about it.

Car pieces scattered on the ground next to the railroad tracks and a memorial serve as a daily reminder to neighbors that the crossing at Laughmiller Road is dangerous.

Saturday morning's deadly accident was the last straw for some neighbors who live on Laughmiller Road.

They told WAAY 31 they want change, and they were going to the next commissioner meeting on Monday to get it done.
But, Limestone County Commissioner Jason Black says it's out of their hands.

"It's impossible," Commissioner Black said.

That's because the county can't work within a certain area of the crossroad, which means people will have to take their concerns to the rail transportation company CSX in order to get something done.

"it's a federal system, so it's like calling the white house or the Pentagon," Black said.

A change could take a while even after getting in contact with the company. That's because before any changes are decided, CSX would have to look at how many cars drive through the area as well as the type of cars. Then, the company would make suggestions to the commission.

"Anything that they would ask us to do to assist them in doing, we would be more than happy to do it," Black said.

But for now, Black says people need to reach out to the company and their local legislators to avoid another deadly accident.

"I hope that it would be looked at and maybe get something done to make sure we don't have something like that again," Black said.

WAAY 31 reached out to CSX to learn more about their process in making changes at the crossroad and how long the process could take. We'll let you know when we hear back.

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