Rail crossing safety a major concern for Biloxi residents - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Rail crossing safety a major concern for Biloxi residents

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s wife, Serena, said that out of the tragedy, safety changes may be forthcoming. (Photo source: WLOX) Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s wife, Serena, said that out of the tragedy, safety changes may be forthcoming. (Photo source: WLOX)
For people who live nearby, many knew this kind of tragedy was bound to happen someday. (Photo source: WLOX) For people who live nearby, many knew this kind of tragedy was bound to happen someday. (Photo source: WLOX)
“That incline is what causes those vehicles to get stuck as they do,” said Mark Robinson. (Photo source: WLOX) “That incline is what causes those vehicles to get stuck as they do,” said Mark Robinson. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

There are more questions than answers about the deadly train/charter bus collision in Biloxi that claimed four lives and left more than 30 others injured Tuesday. For people who live nearby, many knew this kind of tragedy was bound to happen someday. They feel the design of the rail crossings made it almost unavoidable. 

As investigators walk the tracks and take measurements, Mark Robinson is collecting his mail. His parents live next to the tracks. The up and down design of the crossings always left him uneasy.

“That incline is what causes those vehicles to get stuck as they do. I don't know how it would take for this to happen, but something desperately needs to be done, because it has happened too many times, and I'm sure it's going to happen again,” Robinson said. 

He added the carnage of the crash has left an emotional scar on him as well.  

“It was just a terrible thing to witness. Immediately after the accident occurred, I went on board the bus and was just trying to calm the people on board the bus down, because there was hollering and screaming,” Robinson recalled. 

Jimmy Franks lives three houses down from the Main St. crossing. He also had a feeling something bad was bound to happen.  

“It is what it is. It's dangerous. It's very dangerous. Too many people have been hurt, but we can improve it. It can be improved,” Franks implored. 

While it could be days, weeks, or even months before final answers are known about the cause of this horrific accident, the emotions coming to the surface didn't take nearly as long. 

That's why Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s wife, Serena, and her friend created a makeshift memorial and prayed for the victims.

“We thought that it needed to be respected that these people died, and as part of the city, we care about the city and its people and the people who visit here. We want them to be remembered and to respect their families,” Gilich explained. 

She also said that out of the tragedy, safety changes may be forthcoming. 

“It has been an issue. My husband has been aware of this. In fact, just a week ago, we drove around going over these crossings and looking to see which ones were the most dangerous, because he does have a need to close some of these crossings,” Gilich said. 

For many, that can't happen soon enough.   

An average of nine trains roll through the Main St. crossing on a daily basis. About 2,000 cars use the crossing as well.

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