Two years since deadly train vs. bus crash in Biloxi
It was just two years ago today that four people lost their lives when the bus they were traveling on was hit by a freight train. Memories of the incident prompting more safety regulations at railroad crossings in the area.
March 7th, 2017 is a day that won’t be forgotten by those who were on hand as tragedy unfolded on these tracks at the Esters and Main Street crossing in Biloxi. Reverend Eric Dickey said, “Just less than 50 feet away from the accident site, to see so much of a chaos in terms of a tragedy that occurred.”
Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich said, “It’s surreal. Kinda like, man this isn’t really happening, but it really was.”
That reality unfolded quickly as a train collided with a Texas tour bus stuck on the tracks, killing four of the senior citizens on the tour bus and injuring 34 others. Vincent Creel with the City of Biloxi said, “The 48 people who were trapped on that train, the only thing they could see was this train coming at them. They were hard pressed to try and get out of the bus. Some who did get out of the bus were among the four who died.”
Reverend Eric Dickey rushed out to help soon after hearing the impact. His church, First Missionary Baptist, is just one block away from were the accident occurred. “Several of our brothers that are in the clergy were providing last rites on some of the victims that fell from that incident, as well as the paramedics, first responders trying to provide assistance to those that were hurt, the victims that remained and were able to walk away and then those that were having to be carried to the hospital.”
Since the deadly accident, the City of Biloxi has added new signs that prohibit larger vehicles from attempting to cross the tracks. “The number of steps that you can take and signage being a big part of it you know other than dropping it right in front of you before you go forward but it seems to have helped.”
As did the signs of remembrance and outpouring of support from the local community that followed in the aftermath of this tragedy that impacted those both near and far away.