Letters to the Editor — Thursday (3-12-15)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rail accidents can be avoided with phone call

This week saw news headlines all over North Carolina and the nation as Amtrak’s Carolinian struck a semi-truck hauling an oversized load in Halifax County. Fifty-five people were injured, but thankfully none seriously or killed. While the investigation is still in its early stages, news reports are starting to trickle out that this truck was being escorted by police, and had been delayed at the railroad crossing for upwards of 15 minutes prior to the accident.

If these reports are even halfway correct, this accident should have been avoidable. At every railroad crossing, there is a sign posted (usually just under the lights and crossbuck, and on the crossing gate arms) with a toll free number and the location of the crossing. Had the people at the scene called the emergency number as soon as the truck was stuck, there is a good chance that the accident would have been avoided, as the train could have been contacted and warned of the hazard.

Of course, the official investigation will determine why the truck was stuck and why it remained so long in a dangerous location. Even so, there is still a lesson all of us can learn from. In Rowan County, there are several active railroad lines, all under the control of Norfolk Southern. Their emergency contact number is: 800-453-2530. It is posted at several locations at every railroad crossing, along with the crossing location. Should a vehicle become stuck on the tracks, a crossing malfunctions, or some other dangerous situation occur on the tracks, you can call that number and let proper authorities know. They can then alert oncoming trains of the danger. By doing so, you very well could be preventing an accident such as what happened in Halifax County, and quite possibly be saving lives.

— Eric Shock


Some retail suggestions

Ideas for the development: How about Red Robin and Chili’s, and instead of Hobby Lobby, what about AC Moore since there is a Hobby Lobby in Kannapolis. And will there ever by a Publix?

— Michelle Kelly