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Deadly crossing at Ashdown subject of discussion

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 9, 2013 at 12:01 p.m.

ASHDOWN — Representatives from Ashdown and the Kansas City Southern Railway Co. say that after the death of another motorist in a train-vehicle accident they need to discuss again whether to close any of five crossings in the city.

Bobbie Calloway, 41, died Nov. 23 when a train struck her car. Hers was the fourth death at an Ashdown crossing since 2009.

Mayor Carroll McLarty placed a train-crossing discussion on Monday's City Council agenda. Council members have rejected previous attempts to close crossings.

Railroad spokesman Doniele Carlson said Kansas City Southern suggested two options previously and is ready to talk to the city again.

The railroad most-recent proposal would have seen the railroad and state pay to close two crossings and upgrade lights and gates at the three remaining intersections. An earlier one would have given the city money for each crossing it closed — with no restrictions on how the community used the funds.

McLarty told the Texarkana Gazette that residents want all crossings to remain open.

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cwbird says... December 9, 2013 at 8:54 p.m.

The article seems to indicate that there are only five RR crossings in Ashdown. Maybe there are only five crossings with lights and arms, but there are way more crossings than that. A quick look at Google maps shows that there is a maze of tracks crisscrossing Ashdown. I could hardly believe how many that I saw. Because there is such a maze of tracks crossing so many streets in town, I can certainly see why the residents wouldn't want to close any of them. Closing them could make getting around really difficult. I'm not sure what the circumstances of the accidents were, but watching out for trains is and has to be a driver's responsibility. If a train is going at any significant speed, there is just no way that it can be stopped in time to avoid a collision.

On the other hand, KCS has way more experience in evaluating crossings and certainly has a very high interest in preventing crossing accidents than any city council, so the city council ought to consider their recommendations more seriously than the residents' desires.

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AEinstein says... December 11, 2013 at 7:59 a.m.

Bottom line, people that get hit by trains are either drunk adults or children

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