Driver remains in hospital after collision with train

Updated: Aug. 30, 2019 at 5:43 AM CDT
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COOSADA, Ala. (WSFA) - A well-known former Stanhope Elmore coach and principal is recovering in a hospital after his car collided with a train in Coosada Wednesday.

The collision happened at the intersection of Pecan Grove Road and Coosada Parkway just before 7:30 p.m. 89-year-old Conrad Henderson’s car was parked at a stop sign, headed west on Pecan Grove as the train approached.

When officers responded to the scene, they found Henderson lying in the roadway saying he’d been hit by a train. Days later, pieces of Henderson’s car remain scattered alongside the tracks.

Henderson’s crash in the third train verses car collision at that particular crossing in less than a year. Officials say while there’s plenty of traffic across these tracks for a town the size of Coosada, it’s not enough to upgrade the cross with gates, bells and lights.

The 12 News Defenders took the issue to the Alabama Department of Transportation who confirmed the federal government funds around 20 rail crossing upgrades a year. ALDOT follows a federal review process to identify the crossings in the greatest need. Crash data is a factor, officials say, which could push Pecan Grove Road up the list for 2020.

“Anytime your crossing a railroad track, it can be dangerous. So, we want to ask all citizens when they approach a railroad crossing to stop, look and listen before they cross over that railroad crossing,” Coosada Chief Leon Smith says.

Smith adds that trains also have a role to play.

“They’re supposed to be activating their equipment, which is their horns and whistles and, you know, then vehicles know that this train is approaching the intersection,” Smith says.

Smith expects to get a video from CSX that shows the crash to finalize his investigation.

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