Railroad crossing in Oakland facing safety concerns

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OAKLAND, Ky. (WBKO) -- Changes have yet to be made to the railroad crossing in Oakland that saw 49-year-old Raymond Berry lose his life in a collision earlier this month. However, one state official has taken notice.

State Rep. Michael Meredith says the crossing, as it is right now, is too easy for a train to sneak up on a driver.

"You almost have to be right up at the track before you can look down toward Smiths Grove and see the train coming," explains Meredith. "We've had two fatalities in about a five to six year period now so it's obviously become a dangerous crossing"

Meredith has pushed the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to re-evaluate this section of the track, and the KTC says safety is their number one priority.

Crossings across the state are reviewed periodically, but only about five crossings per year actually get the funding to see changes. The different crossings that are evaluated are then ranked in order of importance.

The crossing in Oakland moved up the rankings since the last fatal collision but was not one of the areas allotted funding for this year to have it improved.

The KTC says the evaluation process takes a lot of time and money that they don't always have.

Michael Meredith hope that a re-evaluation will get this crossing the attention it needs.

‚ÄčThere are some safety measures leading up to these particular tracks in Oakland, but as nearby resident Grace Rasdall says, it's just not anywhere near enough for some drivers.

"Bells can be ringing, and lights flashing. They think they're going to beat it. This morning I could see the train and this car went right straight across."

Rasdall begs that something be done.

"Please do something. I'm an old woman. I can't handle much more of it, and I see it every day."

Rasdall lives about 30 yards from the crossing and says while the problem tends to be with younger drivers, it's not limited to anyone, and she hopes until changes are made, people will be careful.

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