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Burleson Texas Cracks Down on Illegal Train Crossings After Wrongful Deaths

Don’t ignore flashing lights, bells and other warnings when approaching railroad crossings.

And in Burleson, officials were working to get that message across.

After three fatalities at railroad crossings in about a year, the Burleson Police Department, along with the Union Pacific Railroad, conducted an enforcement operation at the Alsbury Boulevard and Renfro Street crossings in Burleson. Nine drivers were cited for ignoring the warning signals, receiving a ticket that carries a $176 fine.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/04/15/2118783/burleson-cracks-down-on-illegal.html#ixzz0lKdK2ch5

Of the three fatalities reported during the past year, two involved trains colliding with vehicles on the tracks and one involved a man laying on the tracks.

On March 8, Lewis Baskett, 46, of Burleson died when he was hit by a train at Rudd and North Commerce streets under the Texas 174 viaduct. Baskett was laying on the tracks, and the engineer on the empty Union Pacific freight train could not stop the train in time.

On Dec. 8, Bernie Blackwell, 48, of Burleson died when his Jeep was struck shortly before noon at Farm Road 731 North and County Road 921. He ignored the lights, bells, horn and crossing arms.

And May 8, Brandon L. Goodson, of Burleson was killed when he drove his sport utility vehicle around another vehicle stopped at the crossing at Alsbury, ignoring the lights and bells. A passenger in the SUV was critically injured.

In 2009, there were 56 fatalities in Texas, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Nationally, there were 248 deaths and 1,887 collisions involving trains and vehicles, the agency reported.

Warren Flatau, senior public affairs specialist for the administration, said Texas is among the states with the highest number of incidents at railroad crossings, possibly because of the numbers of vehicles and railroad crossings.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/04/15/2118783/burleson-cracks-down-on-illegal.html#ixzz0lKdaZSFQ

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