Train safety after child death

POSTED: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 11:18pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 11:01am

Operation Lifesaver pushes to get their point across; that since the train's can't stop, it's up to you to be on the lookout.

"We try to get our message out to make people think and be alert and to try to save lives like this."

Being alert means the obvious; looking both ways and dropping all distractions, like cell phones before crossing. You can always expect that a train is coming and there's little chance of survival after impact.

"Impact of a train to vehicle is the same as the impact of that vehicle to a soda can," said Pat Edwards, executive director of Operation Lifesaver.

Shawnkell Patterson, 7, was killed after being hit by a train Tuesday night in Gonzales. Police said she was returning from a nearby park when she ran across the tracks. Patterson froze as the conductor blew his horn, making the collision inevitable.

"It may take a mile or more to stop for a fully-loaded freight train," Patterson said.

Operation Lifesaver said these situations can be avoided with more safety and awareness of the dangers. The message is especially important, as more children will be out of school for summer break.

Click here if you would like to have Operation Lifesaver come do a presentation at your school or place of business.

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