St. Landry

Sep 28, 2010 6:00 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Train Accidents on the Rise in Louisiana

Union Pacific Train Engineer, Robert Rene, has spent fifteen years operating trains. He says he has been in two fatal accidents.

"One time the lady was rushing home going to cook Mother's Day dinner and I hit her and killed her," Rene said. "You are never thinking about killing someone. You are just thinking about moving your train across.... getting to your destination and all of a sudden, in an instant, you kill someone."

During both accidents, Rene couldn't stop the train in time.

It takes a freight train a mile to stop, if it is traveling at the average 55 miles per hour. Union Pacific Conductor, Burnell Armstrong, has been in multiple accidents.

"I've seen the end result of some of the cars and trucks we have hit," Armstrong said. "It's like taking a Coke can and just crushing it."

Armstrong said, "we didn't feel a thing though and that was scary. The car just darted off to the side and it's like..... man I know these people aren't alive."

Every time a vehicle was trying to beat the train.

"It's not worth dying from, that could be the last chance trying to win," Armstrong said.

Rene added, "I hope people realize that we are moving and we are moving pretty fast. Just because it looks like we are going slow, it doesn't mean that we are."


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