Recent deadly accidents with trains bring up railroad safety

Two different families in the Charlotte area are mourning the deaths of two women, both killed in a five-day span by trains.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two different families in the Charlotte area are mourning the deaths of two women, both killed in a five-day span by trains.

The first happened Monday night when a freight train crashed into an 84-year-old woman's car in Gastonia. The second happened just last night when an Amtrak train hit a woman walking on the tracks.

On Monday's incident, the woman died instantly after police say she backed her car into an oncoming Norfolk Southern train.

Four days later, CMPD said a woman impatiently waiting for an oncoming train got out of the vehicle and lifted the crossing arm so the driver could go through. As she crossed the tracks to get back in the car, an Amtrak train struck and killed her.

NBC Charlotte's Brandon Goldner dug into federal data regarding accidents taking place along trains tracks. According to federal data, North Carolina had four deadly railroad-crossing incidents in 2016. In 2017, the Tar Heel State hit that number in the first six months, not including the two most recent deaths.

Contrary to popular opinion, trains can actually be surprisingly quiet. As in this latest death Friday night, the crossing is located in a Quiet Zone.

It's why safety experts warn people to follow all lights, sounds and signs at crossings. It's also important to stay behind that thick white line and whether you're walking or driving through a crossing, pay attention with your eyes and ears.

It only takes a train traveling at 55 mph a distance of more than 18 football fields to come to a stop.

Both CMPD and Gastonia Police say the two crashes remain under investigation.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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