Vinton Residents Speak Out on Deadly Railroad Crossing - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Vinton Residents Speak Out on Deadly Railroad Crossing

January 23, 2007

Reported by: Britney Glaser

One Vinton railroad crossing has been a source of controversy now for more than a decade.  The Eddy Street crossing in Vinton is the only one of the four Vinton railroad crossings that does not have active warning devices. But, city officials are continuing the fight to have that changed.

It's been five years since the Vinton Town Council allocated $200,000 to pay for cross arms at the Eddy Street crossing, but the tracks remain unprotected.  Joe Arbona with Union Pacific says the railroad company is committed to safety.  If an active railroad crossing is to be installed, it would be the responsibility of the Department of Transportation and Development to require the railroad company to upgrade the crossing.  Arbona says this has not occurred.   

The crossing has a very faded white "X" painted on each side of the road, stop signs and track crossing signs, but these warnings have not been enough for drivers.  There have been four fatalities in the past two years.

Betsey Tromonte with Operation Lifesaver works to raise awareness about the danger surrounding railroad crossings.  Louisiana ranks sixth in the nation for the number of highway-rail crossing collisions.  Operation Lifesaver's mission is to decrease these numbers.  Tromonte says, "We find that a lot of times when drivers approach the railroad crossing, they've either approached it so many times throughout their life or during the day, that a lot of times they need to be reminded that the railroad crossing is there." 

Elizabeth St. Julien lives in Vinton and drives over the Eddy Street crossing frequently.  She says although she is very cautious, she has had a close call with a train before.  "It's a time that I have crossed there, and stopped and looked both ways and didn't see anything...but sure enough after I crossed the track, the train passed."

Vinton Mayor Kenny Stinson tells 7News that within the next two weeks, the city will hear from DOTD and Union Pacific Railroad Company regarding a potential solution to this deadly crossing. 

"I just hope before this gets remedied, that no more people lose their lives there," says St. Julien.

Back in 1997 the Eddy Street crossing was temporarily barricaded by Southern Pacific Railroad (which was later bought by Union Pacific) in an effort to reduce the number of accidents on the tracks.  This only lasted for about one year, however, because many residents felt an inconvenience to use other roads to access their neighborhood.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Crowley officer shot Wednesday night has been released from hospital

    UPDATE: Crowley officer shot Wednesday night has been released from hospital

    Thursday, March 23 2017 6:03 PM EDT2017-03-23 22:03:25 GMT
    Roscoe and his handler Tate Thibodeaux (Source: Crowley Police Department)Roscoe and his handler Tate Thibodeaux (Source: Crowley Police Department)

    A Crowley police officer is recovering after getting shot overnight, authorities said.

    More >>

    A Crowley police officer is recovering after getting shot overnight, authorities said.

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Crowley police dog shot and killed overnight brought to Calcasieu Parish

    Crowley police dog shot and killed overnight brought to Calcasieu Parish

    Thursday, March 23 2017 5:54 PM EDT2017-03-23 21:54:25 GMT
    Roscoe and his handler Tate Thibodeaux (Source: Crowley Police Department)Roscoe and his handler Tate Thibodeaux (Source: Crowley Police Department)

    A Crowley Police Department K-9 officer died in an overnight shooting that left two others dead and an officer wounded.  The K-9 officer Roscoe was transported to the Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office on Thursday around noon. Police held a procession for the slain K-9 officer. Roscoe is set to be cremated tomorrow in Sulphur.  State police are continuing to investigate the shooting. The identity of the victims are unknown at this time. Copyright ...

    More >>

    A Crowley Police Department K-9 officer died in an overnight shooting that left two others dead and an officer wounded.  The K-9 officer Roscoe was transported to the Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office on Thursday around noon. Police held a procession for the slain K-9 officer. Roscoe is set to be cremated tomorrow in Sulphur.  State police are continuing to investigate the shooting. The identity of the victims are unknown at this time. Copyright ...

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Warm temperatures will continue, but rain is on its way!

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Warm temperatures will continue, but rain is on its way!

    Thursday, March 23 2017 4:19 PM EDT2017-03-23 20:19:34 GMT
    Cold front brings rain Friday nightCold front brings rain Friday night

    Overnight we are less likely to see fog develop. We will have windier conditions which will limit the fog tonight. We will have slightly windy conditions with increasing clouds throughout the night. Lows will be in the middle 60s. Friday will start out with mostly cloudy skies. Showers and thunderstorms will be heading toward the area. The rain should arrive more in the evening, then will continue overnight into Saturday morning. Most of the heavier rain will be north of our area.

    More >>

    Overnight we are less likely to see fog develop. We will have windier conditions which will limit the fog tonight. We will have slightly windy conditions with increasing clouds throughout the night. Lows will be in the middle 60s. Friday will start out with mostly cloudy skies. Showers and thunderstorms will be heading toward the area. The rain should arrive more in the evening, then will continue overnight into Saturday morning. Most of the heavier rain will be north of our area.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly