Residents complain RR crossing blocked too much - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Residents complain RR crossing blocked too much

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Some folks near Vinton say they are trapped at their houses while the nearby railroad crossing is repaired. They fear what could happen, especially if an elderly person needs emergency medical care.

The small subdivision north of the tracks, west of Vinton, is known as Jacksonville and many of the residents who live there are elderly and in poor health. During repairs, the railroad crossing between their homes and the outside world is sometimes closed.

Residents said they have to park their vehicles south of the tracks to have access and then walk several blocks if they need to drive. 

"I have bad legs and I can't hardly make it walking," said John Ceaser. He fears what could happen in an emergency. 

"If I need to get to the doctor or get to the hospital, and I'm not the only one. We can't get there. We just got to sit there until they let us through, until they finish up," Ceaser said.

Rudolph Bell said, with his 92-year-old grandmother and father who is a stroke victim, it's critical for emergency vehicles to have access.

"My father has had a stroke and he's paralyzed on the left side. He's had seizures in the past," Bell said.

Jonathan Richard said his father is blind.

"Lot of people are diabetic. Some of them are blind like my father. And it's hard to get in there if something happens. If you can't get in there in time, somebody will die," Richard said.

Railroad workers said if an emergency vehicle needed to get in or out they'd just throw down some gravel so they could pass. Still, residents say they need an alternate way to come and go.

Said Ceaser, "Seems to me like they could give us a way out of there." 

Bell agreed. 

"Ultimately, we need another way in and out of here," he said.

Though signs indicate the crossing would be closed, at last word it was still open due to a high volume of train traffic. Residents said they wish they'd be given the same consideration as the trains. 

Union Pacific Railroad workers do open the crossing when they leave for the day.

Calcasieu Parish officials said they will look into the situation and investigate residents' complaints.

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