Crossing Gates Added To Deadly Railroad Crossing

POTEAU (KFSM)- A deadly train intersection is now safer after new railroad crossing gates have been added.

The railroad crossing on Dewey Avenue is the same location where  a mother and three children were killed in August 2016 after their car was hit by a train.

Several crashes have happened in the same area during the years because drivers said without the crossing gates, it was hard to tell when a train was coming.

People's complaints were heard and new railroad gates were installed on Monday (Dec. 18).

The railroad additions include new flashing lights, both underneath the railroad crossing signs and on the gates.

The improvements for the crossing were originally set for early fall this year, but because of clean up efforts following the hurricanes in Texas, the additions were pushed back.

Despite the delay, residents said they're happy the arms are finally up.

Former Oklahoma State Representative, James Lockhart said he watched as the gates were being installed and said it's a sigh of relief.

Lockhart said before now, drivers never knew when the trains were coming and that's what made it so dangerous.

"[The trains] come in the middle of the night, the morning, the weekend and you just never know when one is gonna come and that kind of adds to the danger," Lockhart said. "They're never really on a set schedule. It's a really good thing to have these arms (gates) here. There's a huge amount of traffic on this road."

Before they were installed, Poteau police and the Kansas City Southern Railroad police investigated that railroad crossing five times since 2012.

The investigation concluded that drivers were not yielding to the warning lights, speeding to beat the train and also stopping too close to the tracks while a train was crossing.