FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISHB) — Crashes at railway crossings are nothing new in Indiana. According to Operation Lifesaver, Indiana ranks third in the country for highway-rail collisions, behind only Texas and California.
Police were called to a railroad crossing on County Road 650 South in Franklin Wednesday around 9 a.m. after a truck collided with a train. When officers arrived to the scene they found a man who was unharmed and a box truck that was damaged. The driver told police he tried to outrun the train.
“The individual admitted to the deputies on the scene that he tried to beat the train and he lost,” said Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess.
The back end of the truck was torn off, however the front end where the driver was sitting was untouched.
“You know just to have that thought that ‘I am going to beat this train, I am in a large box truck’ is crazy,” said Burgess.
No one was seriously injured in this crash but that isn’t always the case.
News 8 has reported on fatal crashes in Johnson County before, including one in March of 2019 where a woman died.
“The train traffic has picked up on that side of the county with trains running north and south,” said Burgess.
The sheriff says railway safety has been top of mind for the entire county since there are so many areas that have railroad crossings, but not all of them have stop arms.
“From Franklin all the way north to Greenwood or Edinburgh, all the public officials have been talking and trying to do something with the arms,” said Burgess.
Recently a federal grant was approved, funding the addition of 17 stop arms across the county. The location where Wednesday’s crash happened is not on that list.
“This morning this individual was very, very fortunate,” said Burgess.
While the sheriff says he would like to see stop arms at every crossing, he also thinks drivers need to pay attention when approaching train tracks.
“I think cell phones have a lot to do with it too. People are just simply not paying attention,” said Burgess.
Authorities say the driver involved in Wednesday’s crash will be ticketed following a complete investigation.