Coroner Wonders How Many More Will Die On The Tracks - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/21/04

Coroner Wonders How Many More Will Die On The Tracks

Signal 1 S-F involving a train. That's police lingo for a car/train accident that kills someone. It's one call Harrison County's coroner hates to get. "Right off the bat it's 'oh no, we have another fatality involving a train.'"

Gary Hargrove says in his 13 years as coroner, the car/train run-ins seem to happen more and more.

"People either being on the tracks, sitting on it or driving across the tracks. Most of the time it's driving across the tracks. They're trying to beat the train. They don't wanna be held up. They're in a hurry, they wanna go where they wanna go and they don't wanna wait."

That impatience usually costs someone their life, and Hargrove says seeing people die in mangled metal is not a pretty site.

"Our firefighters and our law enforcement personnel, some of our new ones coming in get shook up over the fact that the amount of damage, they cannot believe it's happened," he says.

Hargrove says we're all guilty of not paying attention at crossings, when we need to be alert the most.

"I'm personally guilty of it. We become complacent in our driving and we come up on a railroad track and we go. Some of us slow down and do what we call a California rolling stop and just ease on across the track."

We saw that as we watched car after car cross the Broad Avenue tracks.

"He's still too fast. And this one," Hargrove refers to two separate cars. "Just think if they sat here and wrote tickets all day long."

byMarcia Hill

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