Luling man injured after illegal railroad crossing

Published 4:24 pm Monday, January 4, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Just after 7 p.m. on January 2, 2021, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash involving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and a Locomotive train on the Union Pacific railroad tracks at the Davis Dr. crossing near River Rd. in Luling, La

During the investigation, it was learned that a train was backing towards the Davis Dr. railroad crossing when the driver of a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado proceeded through the properly functioning railroad crossing arm guard signals in an attempt to beat the approaching train.  The train made contact with the truck and pushed the truck approximately 1500 feet southeast of the Davis Dr. railroad crossing before the train could come to a rest.

The driver of the Chevrolet, Richard Tetreault a 54-year old resident of Davis Dr. was transferred to University Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries associated with the crash including broken ribs and a collapsed lung.  Tetreault was cited for Louisiana Revised Statute 32:171 Relative to Motor Vehicles Approaching Railroad Crossings.

The Engineer for the locomotive was also transferred to University Medical Center and treated for minor injuries sustained as a result of the crash.

Sheriff Champagne urges commuters to understand the dangers of disobeying railroad crossing arm guard signals.  By taking the chance and driving through a railroad crossing guard, you are risking your life, and potentially the lives of hundreds or even thousands around you.  When a train crash occurs, there is the potential for derailment. Even if the train doesn’t come off of the tracks, the roadway and railroad tracks are often closed for several hours, while the tracks are inspected, train cars are checked for leaks, and debris is removed from the area.  This prevents vehicle traffic from utilizing multiple railroad crossing in the area depending on the length of the train. That same blockage may also make for longer response times for Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement, because they may have to alter their route. You also take the chance of causing damage to the railroad cars that often carry hazardous materials, corrosive chemicals, and/or flammable gasses.

  In addition to the dangers cited above, you will also be cited and fined for your deliberate negligence. You may also be responsible for paying the fees associated with the citation issued, plus any damages sustained to the train tracks, the train, clean-up efforts, and any other damaged local and state property involved.  Please drive safely and obey all traffic signals.