The train crash that occurred May 15 on Calhoun Dairy Dr. north of Rosepine has prompted a concerned citizen to organize a public meeting, where citizens can ask questions and talk about how the problem can be corrected, and lives can be saved in the future.
Carol Shaw is the organizer of the meeting, which will be held on June 5 at 6 p.m. at the Leesville Municipal Golf Course.
This is the sixth accident at that particular crossing in the past three years. The accident involved a mother and her baby, both whom had to be airlifted from their totaled vehicle. While their injuries were minor, many citizens are concerned at the lack of crossing arms and other safety precautions at the crossing.
“Someone shouldn’t have to die before action gets taken,” said Shaw. “Our first goal is to educate the public about railroad safety. The second is to find out what has to be done to put a safety arm at that crossing.”
Shaw has reached out to many experts and political leaders to attend the meeting and discuss what can be done about the crossing with concerned citizens. Vernon Parish Police Jurors will be in attendance, as well as Leesville Mayor Rick Allen.
Shaw has also arranged for Louisiana State Railroad Coordinator Gretchen Ferguson to come to the meeting and a representative from Kansas City Southern (KCS).
Representatives from Operation Lifesaver Louisiana will speak about train safety at the meeting. Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to educate the public about safety when it comes to trains and railroad crossings.
According to Shaw, the meeting will be a “town hall” style format where those in attendance can ask questions to those speaking at the meeting. Shaw emphasized that the meeting is open to anyone, even those outside of Vernon Parish.
“This is the perfect time for anyone to find out what they can do to help prevent accidents like this from happening in their area. It could happen to anyone,” Shaw said.