Driver tries to beat train, fails


No injuries were reported following this crash on Columbus Avenue today. Shortly before 7 a.m., the driver of this Grand Caravan attempted to drive around the railroad crossing arms and beat a train through the intersection. The train, headed into Marysville, struck the van. The driver was cited for failure to stop at a railroad grade crossing.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Mac Cordell)
A Milford Center man was cited this morning after he tried to beat a train through a crossing in Marysville.
Ronald Morris, 49, of Milford Center, was cited with failure to stop at a railroad grade crossing. Morris was driving a Dodge Grand Caravan, headed south on Columbus Avenue at about 6:49 a.m. today.
According to law enforcement officials, the railroad warning lights were on and the arms were down. Morris allegedly drove around the arms in an attempt to cross the intersection before the train, which was headed north into the city.
The train operator said the front end of his train hit the front end of the van and continued for almost half a mile before he was able to stop the train.
Law enforcement officials said the man, who was the only occupant in the van, was fortunate there were no injuries.
“I think this is a prime example of why people should not try to cross in front of a train,” said Tony Brooks, deputy chief with the Marysville Division of Police. “It was just luck and the grace of God this man didn’t injure or kill himself.”
Columbus Avenue, between Clymer Road and Coleman’s Crossing Boulevard in Marysville, was reopened at 8:42 a.m. Officials from Marysville Division of Police, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and CSX Transportation remain on the scene and are continuing to investigate.
“We are working with CSX to reopen the roadway as soon as possible,” Brooks said.
He said trains, “always appear to be going slower than they actually are.”
“No matter where they appear to be, they are closer than they look,” Brooks said. “Not to mention, there is always the possibility of a mechanical issue or getting stuck on the tracks.”

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