Two separate train collisions have killed two people at the same railroad intersection within the last two months. The most recent one happened Saturday morning.
61-year old Arthur Lapietra died on June 29th after being struck by a train at the railroad crossing on Laughmiller Road one mile north of Decatur.
On May 9th of this year, 33-year-old Luis Sanchez Cruz died after his vehicle was struck by a train at the same level crossing.
A friend of Lapietra told WZDX News that the intersection is dangerous and doesn’t have enough warning signals.
“It’s sort of obstructed view somewhat, especially to the south, there’s some trees that are kind of grown up, and it looks like if a train was coming pretty fast, you may not have very long to be able to tell that, you know, a train was coming,” said the friend of Lapietra.
Although Laughmiller Road is not a heavily travelled road, trains often run along it. Construction workers and farmers who are familiar with the area most commonly use it.
Yield signs are placed in front of the tracks on both sides, but there are no stop signs. Limestone County Commissioner for District 3, Jason Black, told WZDX News that the county only has control over advanced warning signs within 50 feet of the tracks on either side. He says in this case, CSX Transportation would be responsible for putting flashing lights and cross bars at the railroad crossing.
If you come across train tracks without flashing lights or cross bars, ALDOT says to look, listen, slow down, and always yield the right of way to a train.