Friday, July 10, 2009

Teens Killed in Car Crash with Train

In Canton Township, Michigan, five people, all believed to be teenagers died when an Amtrak passenger train carrying about 170 people struck the teens’ car. Authorities say that the sedan had skirted a gate at a road crossing near Detroit.

According to the authorities, the crossing has a gate and flashing lights that apparently were working when the car approached. Witness accounts have claimed that the car didn’t stop at the gate but instead went around the safety arm.

The Amtrak train, which typically travels about 67 miles per hour, broadsided the car and pushed it about one mile down the tracks. The sedan was found crumpled underneath the front of the train and ended up right-side, with its roof and front crushed.

The police estimate that the victims around 17 and 18, the only female passenger was around 14 years old. The five fatalities were from outside the western Wayne County community.

The Chicago Amtrak spokesman said that there was no train malfunction and that the train crew was doing exactly what it should be doing. Marc Magliari, the spokesman said that, "They can't make vehicles, or pedestrians for that matter, heed signals."

The train accident is a tragic and rather painful end for five young people. Again, these deaths could have easily been prevented, had the driver of the ill-fated vehicle respected the lowered gate and flashing lights and if they had chosen to wait until the train has passed.

Unfortunately, youth is often an excuse for reckless and impetuous behavior. It’s no surprise that with that kind of daredevil attitude, motor vehicle accidents are leading cause of death for teens.

These kids and the young driver may have assumed that they could have outrun the train. They must have thought that they were invincible against trains running at least 67 miles per hour. It was a foolish decision which has caused them their lives.

Car and train crashes are one of the most easily preventable deaths. If people just curbed their impatience, they looked before crossing the track, if they observed the train’s warning lights and gate, they would have saved their lives.