Saturday, July 24, 2010

An odd coincidence, and tragedy

A while back, I wrote about arriving at a train crossing as one train passed right before me right-to-left, and nearly simultaneously another train appeared on the second track heading left-to-right. What are the odds, I thought to myself at the time.

Well, apparently better than you might think.

This week a local woman was killed at that very crossing. She apparently broke from the line of  stopped vehicles, ignored the flashing lights and warning bells, drove around the lowered barricades, and around the train—the train on the first track of two closest to her. The train that wasn't going anywhere.

...And directly into the path of the second train, whose approach was hidden by the stopped train. The fast-moving train had enough time to activate its emergency stopping systems before impacting the passenger side of the car with a force witnesses described as "...a bomb blast."

There's nothing funny, or even ironic about this. It's just sad, and I wonder two things—what was so important to make running the barricade seem like a good idea, and what that last wave of appalling regret must have felt like...

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