Baltimore, OH Train And Auto Crash, Sep 1994

FREIGHT TRAIN ACCIDENT KILLS FIVE IN A CENTRAL OHIO TOWN.

RAILROAD CROSSING LACKED LIGHTS AND GATES.

Baltimore, Ohio (AP) - Nearby residents fear the railroad crossing that has no lights or gates. A couple driving four teen-age girls to a high school football game may not have known of the danger.
In the darkness Friday night, a Conrail freight train slammed into the car at the crossing, killing the couple and three of the girls. HOLLY WEEKLEY, 14, survived the crash and was in fair condition Saturday.
"I have a friend whose wife and kid were killed by a train right here," said Dan Wilson, who lives near the crossing. "I've just mussed a few myself. This year they put up a crossing warning sign down the road, but that doesn't mean anything."
Village Administrator Hugh Schaffner said lights and gates were scheduled to go up in May 1995.
The train hit the car about 7:22 p.m. near this central Ohio town about 20 miles southeast of Columbus. The crossing is marked only by a wooden sign.
Killed were:
JAMES M. ALLEN, 47, the car's driver;
his wife SUSAN ALLEN, 45;
twins LISA and LAURA WILLEY, 15;
and ALLISON GOOD, 14, according to the Fairfield County Sheriff's Department. All were from Heath, about 20 miles east of Columbus.
The Allens were giving their daughter's friends a life to the game, said Sheriff Gary DeMastry. The girls were students at Heath High School.
The couple's daughter, Brooke, a cheerleader, had gone to Baltimore early for the game at Liberty Union High School. She is an only child.
Counselors were at Heath High School on Saturday for anyone who wanted to talk about the accident, said Valerie Bailey, a school spokeswoman.
After the game, counselors met the returning football team and school band at the school to tell them about the wreck, Bailey said.
No one on the train was hurt, said Craig McQueen, a Conrail spokesman.
The train was pulling 103 empty coal cars from Dunkirk, N.Y., to Dickinson, W. Va.
Conrail was trying to determine how fast the train was moving. The legal limit for the area is 40 mph.
McQueen said Conrail had not had an accident at the intersection in the past five years.
But one woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she knew of at least three accidents in the six years she has lived near the crossing. She heard the crash Friday.

The Times Shreveport Louisiana 1994-09-25