Concerns raised about railroad crossing in Sellersburg after tra - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Concerns raised about railroad crossing in Sellersburg after train hits SUV, killing 1 man

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SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- Cameras posted outside Bo Knows Auto Group caught a collision course seconds from devastating impact Friday. 

A train moving along US 31 in Sellersburg plowed into an SUV with three friends inside.

Cathy McCarty, who heard the crash, called 911 and rushed over to help Amir Salman, who was badly injured.

"I just don't think he knew he was there in the path of the train," McCarty said. "He was alive. We did stay with him. That's what we want the family to know. We kept him covered. We prayed with him."

The prayers wouldn't be enough. The 29-year-old Salman from Iraq, who survived a kidnapping there, died Friday night in Louisville.

His friends and newlyweds, Mohammad Alanani and Amaal Shaibi, remain in comas at University Hospital. They too have faced adversity before as refugees of Palestine.

But flowers now sit where mangled metal used to along US 31 as McCarty and others raise concerns about the crossing.

"Something needs to be done," she said.

Should there be more than a stop sign there? Is there enough room on the other side of the tracks for a car to safety sit?

"Those concerns are warranted, but in this scenario that we have right here, from the video I've seen, these people stopped on the track." Sellersburg Police Chief Russ Whelan said. "That's not something that can be helped." 

Whelan took pictures to show that a vehicle can safely be on both sides of the tracks without any problem.  At the same time, he's always called Friday's incident an accident and isn't against improvements.

"Obviously, if you have flashing lights and arms, any safety precautions are better than none," Whelan said.

McCarty said she's on board with whatever will prevent the type of tragedy she experienced first-hand.

"I see that poor guy. I see him a lot," she said. "Whenever I go to sleep, it plays through my head."

The Indiana Department of Transportation reviews crash data at railroad crossings across the state. It could ultimately use federal money to install blinking lights or a crossing arm at the site of the accident.

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