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Malfunctioning Safety Equipment Cause Of Deadly Train Accident?


Posted on Dec 24, 2009

Were the safety mechanisms at the railroad crossing in Elfman, North Carolina, working properly on Tuesday morning when a car carrying a mother and her two children was struck by an oncoming train? Now North Carolina Police are investigating what went wrong in this deadly train and car collision that left two dead and an infant seriously injured.

Police say that 26-year-old Erin Brett Lindsay-Calkins and her 5-year-old son Nicholas Aden Lindsay were killed when an Amtrak's Carolinian 80 passenger train hit their vehicle on the tracks near Forest Road and Mount Willing Road. Nicholas was thrown 100 feet from the vehicle and was not found immediately after the crahs. Four-month-old Avan Brooke Lindsay was removed from the vehicle with an apparent head injury and is now in fair condition at UNC Hospital. A bystander cut the mother and baby from the car with a knife.

Many townspeople in Elfman say that the intersection is very dangerous because the safety equipment meant to keep cars from the danger of trains often malfunction or don’t work correctly. In some cases, the warning lights won’t blink, when in other cases the warning arms do not come down even though a train is approaching. Some believe that too many heavy vehicles like trucks use the road as a way to get to I-85, and that the railroad intersection is too heavily used to function properly.

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