UPDATED WITH NAMES: One dead, one injured in crash with train

Vermilion Township man, 29, dies after train strikes SUV at Joppa Road crossing.
Shawn Foucher
Nov 21, 2013

UPDATE 10:31 a.m. 
Gregory Long, 29, is dead and Joseph Murray, 31, has life-threatening injuries. Both residents of Furnace Road in Vermilion.

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A 29-year-old Vermilion Township man is dead and a 31-year-old Vermilion man is clinging to life after a train struck their SUV at a Joppa Road crossing, according to Erie County deputies. 

Deputies are still working to determine which man was driving the vehicle. It's registered to the man who is still alive.    

The pair were in a Chevy Tahoe headed north on Joppa Road when at about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, at Ashmont Road, the vehicle drove around a railroad gate and was struck by a westbound train, Erie County Deputy Justin Smith said.

The collision sent the SUV off the road and into a railroad utility shed, then down into a shallow ditch. Both men were ejected from the vehicle, which came to rest upside down in the ditch.

Railroad crews quickly called authorities, who arrived to find one man dead and the other with life-threatening injuries. The survivor was loaded into a medical helicopter and flown from the scene to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, Smith said.  

Crews were still at the scene at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday. It's unknown if drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash and the incident remains under investigation, Smith said. 

Deputies had not released the victims' names as of early Thursday because they were still working to notify family members. 

Comments

Señor Clown

My sympathy to the train crew. I can't begin to imagine the feelings of helplessness and guilt that might come with witnessing something like this, even though there was nothing they could do to avoid it.

candleburner

My sympathies go out to the families of both families of these men and more importantly the guys on the train that had to witness this happening but to be honest, I really have an issue with this type of thing. If you have that little regard to the law that you can't find another way to get to where you're going than to go around downed railroad gates than I really don't feel sorry for what happens to you personally. It's like those 2 girls that were killed on Remington Ave all those years ago. Their families sued the rail companies and somehow managed to win even though they broke the law and if they had just gone down one block to Pipe St, they would have seen there was an actual train there and they could possibly still be alive but no, they had to decide that they were above the law and go around the downed gates and they lost their lives in the process. Yeah I know I'm going to get all kinds of crap for this but I don't care. I was a paramedic for 6 years and I ran on this kind of stuff all the time. People thinking they were above the law and could do what they wanted and the results be dammed and most of the time they took someone else, someone innocent that was obeying the law, with them. And it was their families that all had to live with their stupid decisions!! Okay I'm done ranting, bring on your comments. I can take it!

starryeyes83

Amen! You can't outrun or beat a train. Sad all the way around.

Those gates are DOWN for a reason.

janalee

I'm sorry I could have sworn in reply to me it wasn't "sad all the way around"

It is sad for the family of the man who passed away. Everyone else is alive

lmalley77

First off, the girls who were killed years ago in Sandusky didn't think they were "above the law!!!!"...If you would get on that little thing that you are typing on called a computer, and go to a website called Google, you can find the entire report and the court documents!!....OTHER cars were going around the gates as well, and a police officer had arrived to the scene before they were even killed because the train company was having issues with the gate being stuck in the down position due to a rail car that was stuck on the gate trigger!...There were railroad crews there trying to fix it and the officer had left the scene to go give another motorist who passed through the gates a ticket when the girls were killed!!...At no point in time did either the police nor the railroad company decide to alert traffic and help divert traffic while they were working to fix the problem of the rail car!!...THAT is how the girls were killed, because they saw EVERYONE else going around and they figured they could as well, but didn't see the oncoming train due to the one that was stuck on the gate trigger!!...Do your research people before you get on here and talk crap!!...THAT is how the family won a lawsuit against the railroad company!....And the girls' family worked hard towards safety in our very own little town after that, to try and prevent another tragedy as bad as this from happening to anyone else!!...Oh..and by the way, "those girls" had names, they were Michelle Wightman and Karrie Wieber!!!!!

mikesee

imalley, you know the old adage about seeing other people jump of the bridge right..........

lmalley77

I never said that they SHOULD have gone around the gates because others were doing it, my point was that these girls did not think they were " above the law" as candle burner suggested!!...There really are a lot of douche bags in this world who don't know how else to respond to something than with sarcasm. At least when I commented I stated facts!! :) If you ask me, the family should have sued the police department as well, since there was an officer there right before the girls were killed, and had either he or the trains men diverted traffic and used safety measures when they knew this situation was dangerous, MAYBE Michelle and Karrie would still be here!!

deertracker

lmalley is correct.

mikesee

So, tracker, if you saw everyone drinking a gallon of gasoline you would do the same?????

Unassumer

if death were the punishment for stupidity, then there'd be alot of dead people. people make mistakes and misjudgments so don't judge others and try putting yourself in their shoes. sure, most of us don't try to outrun trains but some people think they have plenty of time. same applies to semi's or other vehicles. it's better to wait than to take the chance. death is not a punishment though-it's a transition. they're angels now and hopefully they'll overlook your stupidity.

bondgirlM

you are correct!

lmalley77

And just incase you are too lazy to use that computer and that website called Google, I spent an extra 60 seconds of my life to find you just a small snippet of exactly WHY the family won their lawsuit against the train company! ...If you would like to educate your pea brain any further in this given topic, you may research yourself online, where you will be able to find anything from the court documents, to newspaper articles!..Good day sir/ma'am!! : Wightman is a 1999 decision affirming an award of $15 million in punitive damages. The factual foundation for the award in Wightman was a stopped freight train two hundred eight feet from the grade crossing, causing crossing gates and lights to activate. The stopped freight train had been waiting near the crossing approximately 90 minutes. The stopped freight train’s conductor and brakeman saw that the gate arms were down and that highway traffic was proceeding around the crossing gate arms. The conductor and brakeman recognized the dangerous situation, but decided not to post a flagman at the crossing. The crew of the stopped freight train saw one train go through the crossing without incident, and the crew was then advised of another train approaching the crossing. A sixteen year old female driver and passenger approached the crossing, and followed a car over the crossing – the two were struck and killed by a train traveling close to 60 miles per hour. The jury determined that Conrail should pay punitive damages.

Unassumer

who cares?

AEversole

Well their you go candle burner put that in your pipe and smoke it

AEversole

You seem a little on the cruel and heartless side

worddrow811

I believe I read somewhere that there was a percentage of fault in the Remington Avenue incident. I don't know if it was 70/30 or 60/40 or what but the girl, no disrespect, lacked experience in driving and was partially to blame. Never let others wave you on, check for yourself.

2cents

"Never let others wave you on, check for yourself."

!DITTO!

Taught my daughter to never take her right of way at rural stops because of living in a rural area! When I ride with her, she does it automatically now, I have to say nothing, I just say inside, good girl!

candleburner

To AEversole and Lmalley - I knew the girls names, well let me correct myself on that part, I remembered Michelle's name but couldn't remember Karrie's name but to be honest the point is irrelevant because it didn't matter to me. The point was they went around a downed rail gate! And yes I know it sounds heartless - sue me!! It's my opinion!! If others were going around the gate while the police officer was there directing them to do so, that's completely different. However the officer was gone and they chose to just go around the gates, not knowing if the area was clear because there was no one in authority to tell them otherwise. Yes they were young and inexperienced - something else I have a strong opinion about but again this is MY OPINION and the last I knew I can be a b**tch about my opinion and that's okay because it's my opinion and if you don't like it, to bad!! As you - AEversole - said yourself "put that in your pipe and smoke it!" Had "Michelle and Karrie" (happy now lmalley?) taken just an additional 10 minutes and gone down the next street over, instead of deciding that they were going to do what everyone else was doing before "when the police officer was there" who knows what would have happened. Like I said in my original post, I was a medic for quite a while and I saw a lot of crap by people making stupid decisions - and IN MY OPINION (get that thru YOUR heads - that's what I'm saying, like it or not. I don't really care!) that's what this was. A stupid decision. And it would have been a stupid decision no matter who would have made it, Michelle and Karrie or any Tom, Dick or Harry off the street!!!

janalee

I'm sorry but how about everyone just offer thier condolences to the Long family. He may not have even been the one driving so right or wrong a man is dead and everyone should be sympathetic.

starryeyes83

How about some empathy for the train crew ?

Would you like to be the one who is up in that engine? Knowing you can't do a damn thing to stop it because it's taken out of your hands when somebody ignores the safety gate.

What's that? No.

I didn't think so.

I watched my dad go through hell because of someone else's stupidity. And my dad wasn't even the engineer!

janalee

No I wouldn't but as we know the man who is dead was not driving so you can save your no I don't think so for someone else. As a driver of a train it's a risk you take. I'm fairly sure they knew that when they signed up for the job. You know the risks of your job before you sign up! A surgeon knows he will see people die in his hands and someone in the military knows they will see some of their friends die. Your father could go to counseling but this young man is dead. How about you have some sympathy.

So feel free to take your "what's that? No. I didn't think so." To someone who cares because I don't.