BOONE COUNTY, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Centralia man died Saturday after being hit by a train in Sturgeon. This is the fourth major train crash at a passive crossing in Mid-Missouri this year.
Passive crossings are train crossings without any lights or arms to let drivers know of an oncoming train.
There have been 10 train crash deaths in Missouri this year since September, not including the one from over the weekend, according to the Federal Rail Administration.
Tim Hull, of Missouri Operation Lifesaver, said there have been more train crashes at passive crossings this year compared to past years. About half the train crossings in Missouri are passive.
"Currently this year, I just look last night, about 26 or 27% of the crashes that we've had in Missouri at railroad crossings have occurred at those with flashing lights and gates, the rest of them have cross bucks," Hull said.
Out of 26 train crashes in Missouri this year, 19 have been at passive crossings and seven at active crossings, according to data from the Missouri Department of Transportation and FRA.
"They're not safety devices," Hull said. "They're warning devices. So what that's indicating to the drivers of the vehicles is there's a train crossing the head, railroad tracks here."
After the train derailment in Chariton County in June, MoDOT asked the state for $50 million to add more safety features along Missouri's railroad tracks.
"The railroad is the entity that determines (based on lots of factors) what kinds of signage and other protective measures will be taken at any given RR crossing," Boone County Commissioner Janet Thompson said. "The railroad in question here is Burlington Northern & Santa Fe."