Shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 6), St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Carr Drive area in Slidell in reference to a crash involving an Amtrak passenger train and a vehicle.
The train was departing Slidell and headed southbound with 51 passengers onboard as it approached the Carr Drive crossing.
A small pickup truck driven by an 82-year-old Slidell-area man was headed east on Carr Drive and was struck by the passing train.
Evidence on the scene suggested that the pickup truck driver bypassed the crossing arms and drove onto the railroad track, into the path of the train.
The vehicle was pushed off the track and landed in a nearby marsh.
The driver was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene by representatives from the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.
None of the train’s occupants were injured in the crash, and the train proceeded on its route and the crossing was reopened once the scene was cleared.
The investigation is ongoing, and the STPSO Traffic Division is working closely with investigators from both Norfolk Southern Railroad as well as Amtrak.
Sheriff Randy Smith urges drivers to always obey all railroad crossing signals and to never drive around crossing arms even if a train is not in sight.