Elderly DeQuincy man dies after collision with train

By By Natalie Stewart / American Press

DEQUINCY — An 81-year-old local man was

killed when his pickup truck was hit by a Kansas City Southern train

Wednesday, authorities

said.

DeQuincy police Officer Doug Phillips said Curtis Sandifer’s pickup was struck at about 3 p.m. at the Holly Street railroad

crossing and was dragged about a half- mile.

He said the crossing has signs but no flashing lights, bells or gates to stop vehicles from crossing the tracks.

“There are two other crossings near

that crossing that have guards — the LeBlanc Street crossing and the

Lake Charles Avenue

crossing that both have guards, flashing lights and bells that can

be heard from the Holly Street crossing,” Phillips said.

“The train is going to start blowing its whistle well before that crossing, and those crossings were working. If you’re at

Holly Street, you can hear the LeBlanc crossing going off and you can hear the train whistle.”

Phillips said witnesses said the train sounded its horn as it traveled down the tracks.

Officials are uncertain if the train was obeying the track speed limit, which is 40 mph. Phillips said the train was equipped

with a data recorder that documents speed, horn use and when the brake was engaged.

Detectives are gathering witness statements and trying to determine what caused the collision. It should be three to four

days before the investigation is complete, officials said.