A woman who had just dropped her child off at an elementary school was broadsided by a train as she drove her mini-van in Spokane Valley today. According to the Spokesman-Review (whom I stole the picture above from), Maria L. Walsh, 44, is in critical condition after being airlifted from the crash scene at Arden Road south of Wellesley Avenue.
The intersection is closed while emergency personnel investigate. A detective said visibility around the crossing, which is marked only by stop signs, was good, and drugs and alcohol don’t appear to be a factor.
So how many train-versus-car or train-versus-pedestrian accidents has there been this year? Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three or four, and I’m sure there’s more.
The construction of proposed ‘Bridging the Valley’ (BTV) projects would help to prevent these kinds of accidents, by seperating cars and people from trains at crossings. BTV is a series of projects in the 42 mile corridor between Spokane and Athol, Idaho. Here’s more info on Bridging the Valley. Now the main hangup in getting these projects built is the usual one- lack of funding. We’re working on that though and will keep you updated.
By the way, the Havana Street Bridge project that is already underway is the first BTV project to be constructed.