Brother of 1983 victim speaks out about crossings - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Brother of 1983 victim speaks out about crossings

Biloxi's first black Councilman, Michael Esters, was killed when a train struck his car at Main Street. (Image Source: WLOX News) Biloxi's first black Councilman, Michael Esters, was killed when a train struck his car at Main Street. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Esters Boulevard was renamed in honor of Michael Esters after his death. (Image Source: WLOX News) Esters Boulevard was renamed in honor of Michael Esters after his death. (Image Source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Many still remember a tragedy that happened at the Main Street railroad crossing in Biloxi decades ago.  

Biloxi's first black Councilman, Michael Esters, was killed when a train struck his car in 1983. When his brother, Kelvin Esters, heard the news that four people had been killed when a train struck their charter bus on March 7, he was forced to relive his brother's death.

"I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Almost as if something had been ripped from me," said Kelvin. "That intersection is where Michael died."

Videos shot the night Michael's car was struck by a train shows the car's mangled frame and shattered glass. More than 30 years later, Kelvin feels empathetic. 

"My immediate reaction was, again, and why does something like this happen," said Esters.

Kelvin says, ironically, his brother was working on getting railroad crossing signals at the Main street crossing, as well as other crossings in Biloxi before he died. Crossing arms were eventually added, but it was too late for Michael.

"Something like this is avoidable, and it's definitely unfortunate that something like this happens," said Kelvin. 

Another deadly accident has caused Esters to wonder why more hasn't been done over the years to increase safety at the east Biloxi crossing.

"CSX and the city of Biloxi should do something about that, and we have to wonder why do things like that happen before the attention is paid at these intersections," said Esters.

To his knowledge, the Porter Avenue crossing has been leveled out. So, Kelvin feels the same should be done at Main Street.

"If it can't be corrected, then it needs to be closed," he said.

Kelvin offers his condolences to the families of those victims who died nearly one week ago. 

"It won't always hurt as much as it does now, but you will always love them and you will always remember them, and you learn to live with it," Kelvin noted. 

Esters Boulevard was renamed in honor of Michael Esters after his death.

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