Driver abandons car on tracks of an oncoming train

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/04/driver-abandons-car-on-tracks.html

5 Likes

Better not risk it, driving through barriers can damage the car.

34 Likes

“You’ll never guess what happens next.”

Yeah-- was there something wrong with the barriers? The car filming also seems to have been stuck almost on the tracks and backed through rather than get plowed.

11 Likes

the driver whose camera caught the action was also out of position; they back up, train comes through, and the barrier drops well after it should have. More than meets the eye here. Also, https://youtu.be/KG_VIcoiCFA

5 Likes

I was wondering if the train was going derailed but super nope. Train kept a rollin’

5 Likes

Also, why are they on both sides? That is, both entering and exiting the tracks for both lanes? You should be able to clear the tracks without going through a barrier.

13 Likes

Over here, they’ve started putting in full-width barriers with object detection, so that vehicles on the track are allowed to clear before the barrier comes down.

They’ve gone for this approach, rather than the half-barriers, because people started zig-zagging on the wrong side of the road to get past half barriers.

21 Likes

I saw a car get hit by a train once. An old Datsun wagon – car got tossed like 50 feet. Amazingly the woman in the car was (more or less) fine. They’d driven off the pavement and got one wheel hooked over the track and stopped, so the impact angle was pretty oblique.

9 Likes

If that’s what they had in this case, it didn’t work…

3 Likes

This is why you never fuck around with a train crossing.

16 Likes

A slightly longer version of this clip starts at 5:47 in this video, the barriers seem to be malfunctioning, as they go up before again beginning to come down. Still doesn’t excuse people ignoring the flashing warning lights (and I imagine sounds) but does indicate why some people might think it was ok to attempt to cross. Nor does it shine any light on why the driver abandoned the vehicle.

5 Likes

My first thought was suicide. Now I just think she’s stupid.

I see drivers do the dumbest things here. One lady drove her car down outdoor stairs because she either couldn’t find the exit or didn’t care, for example. https://globalnews.ca/video/5660823/video-captures-woman-driving-suv-down-stairs-of-high-end-vancouver-hotel

At what point would you not just change your mind?

4 Likes

when I was a kid mashing pennies on the train tracks, railway workers would tell you you’d derail the train doing that. Later, when I was a youth working for the railway a loaded coal car got onto a spur line with a steep grade, headed for the main line. They tried a couple times to derail it with timbers, no luck. One of these occasions it was said to have bounced over the timber and come down back on the track…not too sure I believed that, but it did reach the main line where it was shunted into a siding with a bunch of empties in it. I wasn’t there for the wreck, but I saw the aftermath. You couldn’t even identify the number and types of the cars involved, just a long mass of twisted metal.

14 Likes

That’s a Vancouver thing. I saw someone drive down the stairs into a plaza at UBC

3 Likes

FYI: https://www.wfmynews2.com/article/news/local/woman-wanted-after-hit-and-run-with-train-turns-herself-in-high-point-police/474807015

ETA: Clearer explanation from other coverage:

According to witnesses at the scene, vehicles were stopped at the railroad crossing for a southbound Amtrak train at a railroad crossing on Pendleton Street, near East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, at about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.

After the train passed, the crossing arms raised and vehicles began to enter the crossing. Once several vehicles had entered the crossing, the arms came back down for a northbound freight train.

At that time, High Point police said Jeseace Quick, 25, got stuck between the crossing arms and abandoned her car on the tracks. Quick fled the vehicle as the second train was approaching.

The oncoming train struck the vehicle, and after the collision, Quick left the scene before police arrived.

So from the sound of it, her first mistake was entering the track area when her exit path was still blocked by other cars. Her second mistake was panicking and not just blowing the gate.

If you pull up the crossing on Street View, it does appear that there’s plenty of non-road area to make an escape even if cars were blocking her path, but that imagery is also very old, and from the video it’s clear that additional gates have been installed since.

6 Likes

We had a Datsun wagon when I was a kid. We called it The Dragon. I feel like that may say something about how one fared with a train. Not to overstate it though…

3 Likes

That looks pretty terrifying. I am glad she is alive, even given the car-totaling collision.

6 Likes

I’ve had a few cars I wanted to do that to.

11 Likes

What often happens before a train hits a car is that the driver of the car were following behind somebody who stopped, blocking them from moving forward off the tracks. (At which point they either panic and freeze, or keep hoping the car ahead of them will move so they can get off the track, and it doesn’t.) That seems like it happened here - but it also seems like she either didn’t feel like she could back up in time, or the car stalled.

With a car, generally not - they just plow right through it, pushing it aside. When trains hit big trucks, then there’s a risk they might go off the trackst. (Back when I was doing a train commute, the trains hit cars on a pretty regular basis. It was only when I heard they hit trucks that I knew there was going to be a significant delay.)

8 Likes

I don’t think there was any malfunction. There were two trains.

2 Likes