Ravenna area residents upset crossing isn't being addressed

It is a dangerous railroad crossing both neighbors and local leaders claim is in desperate need of safety upgrades after a Ravenna teen lost her life in a horrific accident.

Five months after a deadly collision at a crossing along South Prospect Street claimed the life of 15-year-old Sierra Thornton, there are still no safety lights or even a crossing gate, small upgrades Ravenna Township trustees have been asking Norfolk Southern to help pay for.

"Something needs to be done -- we need to see something," said Tim Jones, whose girlfriend lives across the street from the busy crossing. "Anything that could avoid the same thing happening again, I'm all for it."

"I think they should at least put a caution light or something, so people can actually know to stop," added Wes Williamson. "You gotta actually sit there for like 10 minutes to actually be able to see if a train is coming or not."

Sierra's sudden death is a tragic loss that has been deep felt in this close-knit community.

It also prompted local leaders to send a letter to Norfolk Southern Corp., the train company involved in the accident, asking for financial help with safety upgrades.

In their letter dated October 17, they asked for assistance in installing warning lights and a crossing gate.

They're small improvements neighbors believe would make a big difference; however, township officials have not heard anything back from Norfolk Southern.

Channel 3 reached out to Norfolk Southern on Friday to get a better understand of where things stand.

In a written statement, spokesman David Pidgeon said, "We've received correspondence from the Ravenna Township trustees, and we will continue to review their requests."

When Channel 3 pressed the train company for more specifics on how long their review process would take, we couldn't get a timeline.

However, those living in Ravenna believe these upgrades are long overdue.

"Now it's time ... anything they can do to make it more safe so something like that doesn't happen again," said Jones.


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