Commissioners say they're working with INDOT and CSX to make this intersection safer. "We're so sorry it took death here to make them see what needs to be done," said Commissioner Stephen Bottoms. INDOT says there is still funding available to update the crossing, but says CSX decided not to move forward with the plans in 2012.
Now commissioners are calling on community members to rally the troops. "The more pressure we put on them, the better we will be," said Commissioner Gerald Bledsoe.
They encouraged residents to form a grass roots effort, create petitions and contact their representatives. County Attorney James McDonald noted there are several other railroad crossings in the county with limited safeguards. "It's a danger for all of us," said McDonald. “Every one of us that travels down those roads every day."
"It shouldn't take this many peoples lives to make a change,” said Christine Ennulat's, whose mother was killed at the crossing nearly two years ago." There should not be a railroad crossing anywhere in the world that does not have arms or at least signals or something."
Daniel Bullock's 4-year-old niece Andrea is the intersection's most recent casualty. She died shortly after the van her father was driving was struck by a train. "There's been too many lives lost and too much sorrow that we have chosen not to prevent. And we as leaders can do that -- there's no excuse,” said Bullock.
Bullock is helping coordinate a grass roots effort supporting the installation of new safeguards. "There's so much potential for more loss at that intersection that it has to be a priority for everyone,” said Bullock. "We have to find success. Failure is not an option. We’re gonna make it happen."