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Safety advocates warn of railroad crossing dangers after deadly incident

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In Marion County, residents near a deadly train crossing said they would like to see more safety measures at the site.

This comes after 20-year-old Courtney Griffith of Hannibal died at the railroad crossing off County Road 433 late Saturday night after her car entered the crossing while a train was approaching.

Neighbors and family members told WGEM news off camera that now after the crash, they would like to see lights and/or crossing arms put up.

Officials with Operation Life Saver Missouri said it's an important reminder to stay vigilant at all railroad crossings.

They said trains run any time of the day, any day of the year, and they don't run on specific schedules despite what some people believe.

That's why when coming up to any crossing they said it's critical to slow down, look both ways, and listen incredibly carefully regardless of the circumstances.

"Any time is train time, be alert at those crossings, no matter what time of day it is, no matter how times a day or how many times a week you cross that crossing, always be alert and aware that train traffic might be approaching, and if you see those tracks, think there might be a train coming," said Missouri Operation Life Saver Executive Director Jim Hull.

According to Hull trains are significantly quieter than they were in the past due to train tracks being welded together into longer sections rather than being made of many smaller sections.

He said that around 50% of train accidents in Missouri actually happen at crossings where there are crossing arms installed.

Hull said installing more precautions can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He said the organization's mission is to raise public awareness about train crossing safety to try and reduce the number of people hurt to zero.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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