Drivers Warned After Third TRE Train vs. Vehicle in 36 Days

Officials with The T say crashes are rare occurrence

In just five weeks, there have been three crashes involving vehicles and Trinity Railway Express trains -- two of them deadly -- in northeastern Tarrant County.

The latest crash happened along Carson Street near Little Fossil Road in Haltom City, where a woman also was killed just last month.

Phillip Fisher, who has lived near the railroad crossing all his life, said he can't believe what's happened there recently.

"It's just outrageous for people to do it," he said. "Why do it? It's nothing, if (not) to face death."

On Oct. 1, a driver tried to beat a TRE train at Carson Street, but the car was hit. Amanda Moore, 37, a passenger in the vehicle, died a week later in a hospital. On Oct. 19, a TRE train hit and killed Mohammed Al-Tayyeb, 43, on Calloway Cemetery Road, which is about 10 miles west of Carson Street in east Fort Worth.

Most recently, on Monday night, a man sustained non life-threatening injuries when his vehicle was hit by a TRE train at the Carson Street crossing.

"When those arms come down, you really need to stop," said Tony Johnson, executive vice president and CEO of The T, which co-operates the TRE with Dallas Area Rapid Transit. "Those trains are moving at a very high rate of speed, not like a freight train."

NBC 5 on Tuesday witnessed a pickup truck with a trailer drive through the crossing with the crossing arms almost half-way down. A TRE train heading westbound crossed by less than 20 seconds later.

Johnson was shocked to see video of the incident after the recent crashes along the TRE tracks.

"I don't think we've ever had three incidents that close together," Johnson said. "Usually we have one or two incidents in a year, so this is a bit unusual."

Both Fort Worth and Haltom City police have said that it appears the drivers intentionally went around the crossing gates, putting blame squarely on the drivers. However, Johnson said The T and TRE will look at whether some crossings need more safety measures.

The agencies could put in quad gates, which make it even harder to get around, he said. Engineers also could add permanent medians to make crossing over and around the gates even more difficult.

But even if more safety devices are installed, the bigger message after these fatal wrecks and near-misses is safety.

"If you stop, you'll be safe," Johnson said.

"Just stop because you're not going to make it, no matter what," Fisher said.

The T said it checks tracks and crossing gates on a regular basis to make sure they're working properly. The T and TRE also conduct safety exhibits at events and for classrooms in an effort to reach the public about the hazards of railroad crossings and why drivers should stop at the crossing gates.

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