SWAR residents push for more safety signals at train crossing

SWAR residents push for more safety signals at train crossing

OGDEN, AR (KSLA) - An Arkansas community is hoping more safety signals will be installed at an Ogden train crossing.

The big push comes after the January deaths of a man and a 10-year-old boy who died trying to cross the tracks on the way to a basketball game.

Officials with the Arkansas Highway Department and Kansas City Southern Railroad are slated to meet next week to discuss new safety measures, and many affected by the tragedy say it's about time.

Family members of Braden Miller visit his grave on a regular basis. Braden, 10, and Bobby Burris, 37, were killed in January when the vehicle they were riding in was hit by a KCS train at Pine St. crossing in Ogden.

The two friends died together and are now buried next to one another.

But even before the two latest deaths, town leaders were working to get more warning signals at the crossing.

Steve Weston is the railroad crossing coordinator for Arkansas sand said after the deadly wreck, railroad officials re-assessed the hazard at that particular crossing and moved it higher up on the list of priorities to fix.

"Obviously the new crash at Pine St. in Ogden pushes that hazard rating up so that is well within the range for us to discuss improvements," explained Weston.

Weston said improvements are not guaranteed, but will be made.

Still, Ogden Mayor Sandra Furlow is optimistic.

"We did this before, about three or four years ago and nothing came of it. But we are hoping now that maybe something will," said Furlow.

"Yesterday was too late, and the day before that. They should have had it done way before now, way before we all had to go through this," said Braden's grandmother, Melanie Braswell.

The meeting to discuss the possible upgrades is scheduled for June 15 at 9:30 a.m. at the Pine St. crossing in Ogden.

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