Man reflects on 2016 railroad incident

Man reflects on 2016 railroad incident

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Eric Blue says he was the driver of a Kincaid Lines charter bus that got hung up on Biloxi tracks in 2016.

At the time, the six-year charter bus vet was just a month and half on the job when his entire bus had to be evacuated.

"Traffic was really heavy because of a parade that was happening that day, and a police officer was directing me to turn on Main Street," said Blue. "There actually was construction that month also."

Once he attempted to cross the tracks, he knew something was wrong.

"When I heard the noise and the bus is not moving, it started scraping. So I hit the brakes and the bus has a lift system on it, but it didn't lift it high enough. I tried reversing it, it wouldn't reverse. It wouldn't go forward, it wouldn't do anything," Blue recalled.

Nearby police, and even the mayor, showed up to the scene. CSX was quickly contacted by police to stop any oncoming trains. Within minutes of realizing they were stuck, passengers were told to get off the bus.

"They understood there was an urgency to get people off. They weren't like panicking or anything," Blue said.

Blue says getting off the bus didn't happen as quickly as it should have.

"It took a while because now the front of the bus is higher than it normally be, and some of these people are not able to step down from there," he said.

A tow truck had to be called to move the bus off the tracks. There was a warning sign, but he didn't see it until after the incident. Blue says the most recent bus crash in Biloxi reminds him of a conversation he had with police on the day his bus got stuck.

"I said, 'Who's responsible for making this more visible for the drivers?' And then they said that the city wasn't, but it was the responsibility of the train company and I said, 'Wow, what's it going to take for this to happen,'" said Blue. "I guess loss of life is what it took."

Blue has since returned to Biloxi for other trips, but stirs clear of the Main Street crossing.

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