Skip to comments.Rail Runner accident is fatal (NM-Richardson's Railroad)
Posted on 08/24/2007 6:10:04 PM PDT by CedarDave
An accident involving a car and the Rail Runner commuter train has taken the lives of three people.
The accident occurred on Friday afternoon, south of Los Lunas.
Highway 314 is currently closed in both directions.
The railroad is Richardson's contribution to higher NM taxes, transports a few hundred passengers per day to small towns north and south of Albuquerque at a cost of 100's of millions and with fares that recover less than 10% of operational costs. But it looks good on the would-be presidential resume.
As for the fatalities, "look, listen and live" should be the watchwords whenever you cross a RR track. Even a short train traveling at 79 mph as this one was can not stop for half a mile or more.
Channel 7 is reporting the vehicle was part of a funeral procession!
Live pictures show passengers being loaded onto three school buses to taken them to their destination. No reports of injuries to passengers.
There were only 50 passengers on the train — bus service would be more efficient and economical than this train to nowhere.
Visit Richardson’s Railroad (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=richardsonsrailroad ) for details on the history of this boondoggle.
I’m always careful on RR tracks. The other day, the lights started flashing just as I crossed them and I could see the bars going down in my rear view mirror. I about had a heart attack.
That’s closer than I care to get to meeting a train on the tracks.
The jugheads in Phoenix came up with one of these goofy railroads. Won’t be long before they are killing people down there too.
More at link:
A brother and sister were killed Friday evening when the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by a southbound Rail Runner Express train near Los Lunas, officials said.
Carol Ann Donovan, 63, and Michael Raffer, 54, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened shortly after 6 p.m., about two miles south of the Los Lunas Rail Runner station in Los Chavez, according to police and government officials.
The siblings' mother had died Friday morning, and Raffer, of Sacramento, Calif., was in New Mexico to assist with funeral arrangements, said Augusta Meyers, a spokeswoman for the Mid-Region Council of Governments.
Donovan lived near the Mid-Valley Airport, Meyers said, where the two were coming from before the crash.
A caravan of family members had left the airport through the north exit, which crosses over the railroad tracks and onto N.M. 314, officials said. At least one vehicle crossed the tracks before the victims' 2006 Jeep Liberty, driven by Donovan, was struck.
Among the caravan was Donovan's husband, who either "saw the wreck or came upon it on his motorcycle," Meyers said. "It's just a terribly sad situation, in particular when considering what the family was here for," she said. "It's just a horrible tragedy."
So this is Bill Richardson’s fault?
In that case, move along...
No, it is always the individual who must take responsibility for his actions. In this case, his decision not to stop and check for a train led to his and his sisters death.
In the longer term, one of the non-environmental selling points by Richardson's RR supporters was that it would provide reliable service when accidents or weather closed down the nearby 75 mph interstate, which, BTW, is only about 2/3 of capacity. It's ironic that the first train accident was a vehicle ignoring warnings at a crossing. And there's already a cry for automatic crossing gates for this private, but well marked crossing. More taxpayer money to protect people who should look after their own safety.