WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a deadly car crash near railroad tracks outside Brunswick, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is urging the owner of tracks, CSX Corporation, to work with local stakeholders to improve the safety of the railroad crossing. Four teenagers were killed and one was seriously injured when the car they were riding in flipped over soon after crossing railroad tracks at Boston and Boone Roads in Columbia Township.
“This heartbreaking crash has brought to light serious safety concerns over the railroad crossing at Boston and Boone Roads,” Brown said. “CSX should work closely with local officials, including those in Columbia Township, Lorain and Medina Counties, and the Ohio Department of Transportation to inspect the site, make repairs if necessary, and hopefully prevent this type of tragedy from occurring in the future.”
Brown wrote in a letter, addressed to Michael Ward, the chairman and CEO of CSX, that news reports have indicated that the “crossing has been long tied to car accidents” and that a story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that ‘There are grooves in the pavement on both sides of the tracks made by vehicles that bottomed-out when they crossed too fast’ and that local trustees ‘have asked the railroad company to build up the road on either side of the tracks.’”
The full text of the letter is below.
Mr. Michael Ward
Chairman and CEO
500 Water Street, 15th Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Dear Mr. Ward:
I write today in light of a recent automobile accident outside of Brunswick, Ohio. On June 3, five teenagers were driving along Boston Road in Columbia Township when, after driving over a railroad crossing, the driver lost control of the car. Sadly, the driver and three passengers lost their lives in this tragedy.
News reports have indicated that this particular crossing has long been tied to car accidents. A story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that “There are grooves in the pavement on both sides of the tracks made by vehicles that bottomed-out when they crossed too fast” and that while “Crashes at the crossing are not common . . . . [Columbia Township] trustees have asked the railroad company to build up the road on either side of the tracks.” It is my understanding that CSX owns this particular rail line in Lorain County. While it is clear that drivers have a responsibility to operate their cars in a safe manner, I urge your company to work with local stakeholders—including Columbia Township, Medina and Lorain Counties as well as the Ohio Department of Transportation—on ways to make this crossing safer for all drivers.
It is my hope that out of this heartbreaking event some small good can occur. I look forward to your response.