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Petition to create underpass near deadly train versus vehicle crash site

NOW: Petition to create underpass near deadly train versus vehicle crash site

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OSCEOLA, Ind.-- “If there had been an underpass, he wouldn’t have been killed that day," said Stacy Reeves.

That day was September 5th when authorities say Reeves' son, 23-year-old Franky Reeves Drove through the railroad crossing arms along Ash road and Lincolnway West and was struck and killed by an oncoming train.

Now, Franky's family started a petition to build an underpass at the train tracks along Beech Road and Lincolnway East in Osceola to be delivered to the Indiana State Senate and it's gaining some traction. 

Almost 1,000 people across Michiana have already signed. 

“Traffic is always backed up, people are always waiting," agreed nearby resident, Connie Mapes.

“We have seen emergency responders that have not been able to get across the track. The gates do not go down," said Reeves.

In a video given to ABC 57 by a viewer above, you can see cars continuing to cross the tracks while a train in on the move. The railroad crossing arms did not stop cars from crossing with the train only a few feet away.

According to the St. Joseph County Sheriff's office, there have been eight total accidents at the intersections in the last five years. 

In the last five years, there have been no train versus car accidents reported along the Beech Road train-tracks. There are only two reported on the tracks along Ash road, including Reeve's fatal accident.

To one local who frequently crosses these tracks, he says the extra effort isn't needed.

“I don’t think it’s completely necessary. Might be little extra cause for tax payers and stuff like that. There’s not really enough room for all that construction over here," said Patrick Travis. 

When it comes to what criteria needs to be met in order for an underpass to be considered, transportation officials tell ABC 57 anytime there's an accident, that triggers and investigation but it would be a very involved process. 

They look at things like the number of crash deaths to crash history ratio at a location.

Although any fatal accident matters, only have two accidents in five years wouldn't warrant such a big change.

To Stacy Reeves, however, one life lost is enough.

“We understand that it cannot happen down on Ash with the cemetery being there and limited space, but it can happen on Beech. It can happen if they wanted it to happen.”

You can sign the petition here.

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