Norfolk Southern Operation Lifesaver train stops in Toledo - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Norfolk Southern Operation Lifesaver train stops in Toledo

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Several days after a 16-car train derailment in Springfield Township, Norfolk Southern brings the Operation Lifesaver campaign to town.

Thankfully, no one was hurt when the train went off the tracks at the Crissey Road crossing, but the railroad says it’s a reminder that drivers and pedestrians need to be alert.  The biggest problem engineers face every day is trespassers.

Norfolk Southern trains have resumed rolling through the Crissey Road crossing as the railroad continues to determine what went wrong last Thursday morning.

 “I don't know,” says Robin Chapman, Director of Public Relations for Norfolk Southern Corporation. “That's still under investigation."

On Monday Norfolk Southern’s safety train made a stop at the rail yard on Hill Avenue in Toledo beginning a five-state trip.

The special guest is a former Ohio State student who lost his legs about two years ago in a train accident when he tried to take a short cut.

"The train wasn't moving and I was walking along it,” says 24-year-old Mark Kalina. “I lost my footing, reached out. My sleeve got snagged on one of the rail cars and then it started moving and I couldn't get unhooked."

According to statistics from Operation Lifesaver, an average of 300 people are killed every year at grade crossing intersections nationwide.  400 people on average are killed while walking on or near tracks.

Last year in Ohio, nine people died at crossings, according to Norfolk Southern.  In 2013 in the Buckeye State, 24 people died while walking on or near tracks.

"They are private property,” says Chapman of railroad tracks. “It is illegal to be on the tracks, as well as dangerous."

Back in December of 2009, teenager Cody Brown was hit and killed when he tried to beat a train on his walk to Springfield High School.  His friend Bri Mullinger lost a leg.

"It takes a better part of a mile for an engineer to stop a train at 55 miles an hour,” says Sam Crowl with Operation Lifesaver. “That's 18 football fields."

Kalina uses a cane and two prosthetics to get around. At the rail yard in Toledo, he says he’s lucky to be alive.

"I'm here today to tell my story so people learn from my mistake and stay off the tracks,” says Kalina.

While the train tracks at the Crissey Road crossing have reopen, Crissey Road remains closed to traffic between Old Airport Highway and Geiser Road.  The road is damaged and still needs to be repaired.

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