SWAR community pushes to make railroad crossing safer

SWAR community pushes to make railroad crossing safer

OGDEN, AR (KSLA) - Earlier this year, 10-year-old Braden Miller and close friend, Bobby Burris, were killed when their vehicle was struck by a train at the Pine St. crossing in Ogden, Arkansas.

Although the pain is still there, family and friends say they hope Braden and Bobby's deaths will make their town safer.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation officials and representatives with Kansas City Southern (KCS) Railroad met with Ogden residents Wednesday morning to discuss future safety plans for the Pine St. crossing.

For year, the community has tried to get safety improvements at the crossing with no success.

However, it appears with the recent deaths of Braden and Bobby, the Pine St. crossing has moved up on the state's priority list.

"Hopefully when you come back here in a year, there will be lights and gates in operation every time the train comes," said Arkansas Railroad Crossing Coordinator Steve Weston.

Braden's family members were happy to hear the news, but say the decision to install the warning gates is a little late for them.

"It won't bring back anything, but it's great," said Braden's grandmother, Mellissa Braswell.

If the State of Arkansas gives the final okay for the project, it will cost more than $300,000 to install the lights and gates.

Roy Robinson, a relative of Bobby Burris, said that is a small price to pay for safety of those who use the Pine St. crossing daily.

"You can say that we don't have this and we don't have that, but when you get three people killed in the same place, it is time to forget about money and think about life," said Roy Robinson.

Weston said closing the Pine St. crossing is not an option since there are only two crossings serving Ogden, a city of nearly 200 people.

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