Residents want more safety measures after car hit by train on Cary railroad tracks

Wake County News

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — Sunday night, Brock Bynum caught on stunning video of a train crashing into an empty car on the tracks near North Harrison Avenue in Cary. 

The train pushed the car about a quarter-mile down the tracks near the Amtrak station. No one was hurt.

“You could always get a new car, but you can’t get a new life,” Bynum said. “Hopefully this will definitely send out a message.”

Bynum said he’s never anything like it before, but has heard of people turning onto the tracks by mistake.

“A lot of people always say, when they put on their GPS, for some reason when they put it in, it always sends them on this track,” Bynum said.

CBS 17 tested a GPS unit by putting in directions to the Upper Deck Pub near the tracks.

When traveling on North Harrison Avenue, the GPS said to turn left when approaching the crossing.

The pub’s manager, Elyse Keneali, said she often sees and hears of people turning onto the nearby tracks. She believes better lighting or signage around the crossing would be helpful.

“If you are going down, especially at night, it’s dark. It’s hard to see. It’s possible to turn in there, if you’re looking for where you’re trying to go,” Keneali said. “There’s no reason for us to be having this issue.”

Margaret Cannell is with North Carolina Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit aimed at stopping crashes like this from happening.

“That, unfortunately, is prevalent now, and will become more prevalent, as more and more people rely heavily on their GPS systems,” Cannell said about people turning onto railroad tracks.  

According to Cary officials, the crash took place in the railroad’s right of way, which is owned by CSX. Town officials said any improvements to lighting or signage would need to be considered by and discussed with them.

Meanwhile, those like Keneali hopes changes are made soon.

“The Town of Cary has some work to do in that area,” she said.

Cannell told CBS 17 her group is working with GPS companies to encourage them to include railroad crossings in their instructions.

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