Slidell, LA (NBC33) — SLIDELL, LA (NBC33) — A Slidell woman died last night after her vehicle became stuck in the gravel by the railroad tracks. Officials say this is the second death in two months due to a train collision.
The Slidell Police Department reports that the incident occurred on Sunday, April 28 at roughly 8:15 p.m. We’re told the driver, Bonnie Gibbs, 57, was driving to the supermarket when she crossed the train tracks.
Officials say Gibbs accidentally drove off the roadway and her car became stuck in the gravel by the tracks, causing the rear of the vehicle to be exposed to oncoming traffic.
Gibbs reportedly attempted to get her car off the tracks as a train was quickly approaching. At the last minute, she reportedly jumped out of the car to try to avoid the collision. Unfortunately, when the train struck the vehicle, the car spun in her direction and hit her.
Gibbs was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators do not believe she was impaired at the time of the incident. However, a toxicology test is being performed.
Another Slidell woman was killed last month at a different intersection. In this case witnesses say the driver turned onto the tracks and crashed into the train head-on. Impairment was suspected to be a contributing factor in this incident.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are about 5,800 vehicle train crashes each year in the United States. These accidents kill about 600 people and injure about 2,300 each year.
For more information on railroad safety, please visit the Operation Lifesaver website at www.oli.org.