GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) — The railroad crossing in Northern Colorado where two high school students have died in the past year has been closed to traffic. Changes are being made to the crossing which are designed to make it safer.
The latest victim, Eaton High School student Kennedi Ingram, was killed just last week.
Ingram, 18, was killed at the crossing on Fifth Street, identified only with a stop sign, when her SUV was struck by a Union Pacific train.
Temporary signs closing the crossing were put up Saturday afternoon in Eaton after more than 150 residents demanded action at a community meeting earlier in the day.
Ingram’s classmates are stunned.
“It’s an awful tragedy to see someone disappear from life,” said student Noah Duran. “I feel bad for her friends and her family because it’s so terrible to see them upset.”
In February 2017, 16-year-old Dallas Duran was killed when his car was struck by a freight train at the same location.
The intersection at 5th street is a passive at-grade crossing. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation 1,027 out of 2,129 crossings in the state are passive at-grade. Colorado has 675 active at-grade crossings with lights and arms to alert drivers on the road.
Several months after that deadly collision, Eaton’s mayor made a request to CDOT to evaluate the safety of the crossing. In September 2017, that meeting happened and funding for lights and gates was earmarked to make the intersection active at-grade.
CDOT says the normal process for approval of a crossing improvement can take around two years.
After Ingram’s crash, the town has taken it on its own to block the crossing.
“It’s better than nothing until they can get it done. It’s better to have an inconvenience than to see another person die,” said Eaton resident Debra Anderegg.