Two Arrested After Cars Hit By Train
Two separate but unrelated individuals have been charged with the same drunk driving related offense on the same day, resulting in a busy time for Meridian Township police and fire department.
An Ingham County drunk driver ignored the ‘road closed’ sign near Okemos and Grand River, deciding to go around the train track barricades and attempt to drive across the tracks. The driver’s car got stuck and they were forced to abandon the vehicle moments before it was crushed by an oncoming train.
Just hours later, after police and firefighters had cleared the scene, another drunk driver attempted exactly the same thing in the same location, and got the same result – a car stuck on the tracks that was decimated by a train.
According to Meridian Township Lt. Frenger, “They went around the barricades and tried to cross the railroad tracks. If they would’ve been in there, they would all be dead.” Apparently one of the vehicles crashed into a propane tank after being struck by the train, but firefighters were able to get the leak sealed quickly.
“Now looking at this in the light of day, it’s pretty clear to see why these cars got stuck. There’s about a 5-foot gap between where the road ends and the tracks begin. On top of that it dips about 2 feet into the ground. Firefighters say it’s almost impossible for a car to be able to get right through.”
According to police, this particular intersection frequently closes for flooding, but often enough drivers will ignore the signs and attempt to go through anyway. “When they saw it wasn’t flooded they decided to proceed through. In these cases it could’ve been very disastrous. These people could’ve been seriously hurt or killed.” said Frenger.
Both drivers, a 37-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man, were arrested for drunk driving and have since been released. They will both appear in court in the coming weeks on DUI charges. Both of them are lucky, however, to have made it out alive.