BATON ROUGE, LA — Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated a fatal crash involving a train on US 61 north of Thomas Road shortly after midnight that claimed the life of a Baton Rouge man. Troopers responded to the scene of the crash and were assisted by East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputies.
Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that Thomas Hall, 40, of Baton Rouge was driving a 2002 GMC Yukon north on US 61 on the inside travel lane when he struck a Kansas City Southern engine being operated on the rail grade crossing on US 61 just north of Thomas Road. This location was equipped with properly operating bells and lights and there were workers present with fluorescent vests and flares at the time of the crash.
Hall was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash. It is unknown if impairment played a factor in this crash and Troopers have submitted a sample of Hall’s blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for chemical analysis.
This is the second fatal crash involving a train in the Troop A area this year. In both crashes, the driver of the vehicle was killed when crossing a railroad track with properly operating bells and lights when a train was present. Troopers would like to remind motorists of the dangers of disregarding these traffic control devices. The motoring public must always assume that a train is approaching at every highway-rail intersection and must NEVER try to beat a train or an engine on the track.
State Police is an active member of “Operation Lifesaver”, a non-profit organization created to raise awareness on highway rail-grade crossing issues and to share the message of the importance of safety around rail-grade crossings. For more information regarding “Operation Lifesaver” or to request a safety presentation, contact your local Troop’s Public Information Officer.