Last Saturday, a train hit an automobile in Electra and killed the driver. According to KFDX News Channel Three, 74-year-old Weldon Gentry was in his 2005 Chevrolet Colorado truck when he was driving across the train tracks. For currently unknown reasons, his truck was hit on the driver’s side. Gentry was killed in the crash, and very few details have been released on how this collision could have happened.
Cause of the Wreck Under Investigation
According to officials, the cause of the wreck is still under investigation, and law enforcement officers are trying to determine why Gentry’s truck was on the tracks. There also hasn’t been any word on whether or not there were crossing arms and signals at this particular location. If there were crossing arms and lights at this railroad crossing, were they functioning properly prior to the crash?
Railroad Crossing Crashes in Texoma
Over the summer, we had a few train versus car wrecks in the Texoma area. In June, a 91-year-old Holliday resident was killed when her car was stuck between two crossing gates. The wreck happened at the Old Iowa Park Road and FM 369 crossing. Just a few short weeks after that incident, another car was struck at the exact same railroad crossing on Old Iowa Park Road. This wreck also involved an elderly driver. Thankfully, 89-year-old Bobby Metcalf was able to escape the wreck with what were described as minor injuries.
Railroad Crash Investigation
Crashes involving cars and trains are often catastrophic or fatal. Trains are so much larger and heavier than cars, and they can’t stop on a dime. Anytime a railroad crossing crash happens, it’s absolutely essential to have a full and comprehensive investigation. Many trains are also equipped with video surveillance cameras, so it will also be necessary to review footage, when available. Preventing railroad crossing crashes needs to be a top priority.
After a Railroad Death
With more railroad crossings than any other state, it may not come as a surprise that Texas accounted for almost 10 percent of all railroad-crossing accidents across the country in 2012. That being said, the emphasis on comprehensive investigations following a crash, especially where a fatality occurred, needs to be of the utmost importance for ensuring similar wrecks don’t happen in the future. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to the family members, friends and loved ones of Weldon Gentry.