Six years since fatal train and bus collision in Biloxi

Six years ago, a fun day on the Coast turned deadly for tourists from Texas after a train and bus collision in Biloxi.

Six years ago, a train collided with a tour bus stuck on the tracks here. Even as time has passed, it’s one day that many say they have not forgotten. Especially the City of Biloxi, who has been making extensive changes to their railroads to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Captain Grandver Everett recalls what it was like to receive the call. A CSX train was unable to stop, hitting a bus full of tourists from Texas. Four people died in the collision. “You are kind of wondering ‘Is this really happening?’ You’ve kind of heard about it in other places, never really witnessed it here. You know, so close to home. And then when it happens, it takes you that brief second to just kind of sit there and go ‘This is really going on?’. And then, everybody who was available responds and when you get there, you kind of confirming ‘Oh yeah, this is really happening. Then you go right into ‘Let’s get down to business.'”

First responders worked to get everyone medical assistance.

The City of Biloxi has since closed two railroad crossings and added signage that states the crossing is low clearance. Not everyone heeds this warning. City of Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Cecilia Dobbs Walton said, “The City of Biloxi asks for CSX and for anybody traveling, if they’re a charter company or an 18-wheeler company, to let their driver know to use Caillavet Street instead of Main Street or some other streets nearby that have an elevated grade. But we do see, unfortunately, that that does not happen and we do get some trucks still stuck on the tracks.”

The city will be moving forward with fixing the low-clearance area. In the meantime, Biloxi has an alert system set up when someone is stuck on the tracks. They can tell CSX ahead of time to avoid another collision.

Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich plans to address the updates to railroad crossings during his State of the City address next month.

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