Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Township wanted RR signals where 5 died

The Associated Press

        MONTPELIER, Ohio — Township leaders asked the state two years ago for warning signals at a railroad crossing where five people were killed Sunday.

        But the site didn't rank high enough on the state's list of most dangerous crossings.

        A woman and four children died when a Norfolk Southern freight train struck their car at the crossing in northwest Ohio. The car flipped onto its roof and burst into flames.

        The victims were Wanda Petre, 37; her two children, Chelsea, 11, and Amber, 14; her nephew, Bradley Crontz, 12; and a family friend, Chelsea Green, 10, all of Angola, Ind.

        The crossing lacks gates and lights. It is on a slight incline, and some residents say it's hard to see fast-moving trains.

        “You've got to get right up near the tracks to be able to see. Most people fly right through it,” said Jennifer Wodarski-Felt, who lives down the road from the crossing.

        The train repeatedly sounded its whistle while approaching the crossing, said Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Mike Sharp.


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- Township wanted RR signals where 5 died