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 Another stupid driverAdded: December 10, 2007 

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Views: 121,740 Comments: 50 
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Link to Video:
Locomotive Details Location/Date of Video
Norfolk Southern (more..)
GE B32-8 (Dash 8-32B) (more..)
NS Marion Branch (more..)
La Fontaine, Indiana, USA (more..)
June 16, 2007
Locomotive No./Train ID Videographer
NS 3558 (more..)
NS 144 (more..)
Kent Nelson (more..)
Contact Kent Nelson
Remarks: NS 144 charges north at MP72 as a driver stops, then proceeds right in front of the train. I'm freaking out hoping the vehicle doesn't deflect toward me as I'm just off the road crossing.
Videographer Profile  Detailed Video Statistics

  User Comments on this Video (50)

Posted by Chris Kilroy on December 10, 2007

Holy cow, one of the closest I've seen!

Posted by M.J. Ryan on December 10, 2007

That will definitely knock the wind out of a crew. A truck running the crossing, and a railfan right there in the line of fire? Ouch. Nice catch Kent, and glad nothing happened to you.

Posted by Kevin Wilson on December 10, 2007

Wow, what an incredibly stupid driver. I bet you just about jumped out of your skin!

Posted by Jack D. Kuiphoff on December 10, 2007

Unbelievable Kent, I had to look at it over and over. The guy was really stupid but lucky, and you where most definitely being watched over. Just goes to show, even being on the sideline has its dangers. Weather some careless jerk, or any other possible unavoidable mishap. Thanks goodness everything worked out. Take care, Jack

Posted by K100DS on December 10, 2007

Yikes. This definitely serves as a reminder to all of us: when shooting, think ahead and try to choose the safest possible location. You might not get the perfect angle you wanted, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Posted by Brian Hiscock on December 10, 2007

That almost makes me ill. Glad you weren't hurt Kent.

Posted by Warren on December 10, 2007

Wow too close for comfort! Hope you have a clear view of the plate on the vehicle and I would turn this in to NS or the police or both. Scary.

Posted by J.R. Aiken on December 10, 2007

That is a good example of how not to blow for a crossing, I was a conductor for NS for three years and other than the plow , your best defense at a crossing is the horn! People do respond to it but you have to use it. I have seen people that you know were going to go across in front of the train jam on the brakes at the last second because of the last blast of the horn just plain scared them.

Posted by V Shelton on December 10, 2007

Oh my God is all I can say!!! I think I would of been running and yelling seeing that SUV come across at that precise moment. The local police and NS police would probably like to speak with the driver.

Posted by Joshua Powers on December 10, 2007

Holy crap man! Good thing that the driver got out of the way in time. That would of HURT!!! Glad that you're ok.

Posted by rrvideoman on December 11, 2007

Wow, there is a Power mightier than that train watching over you - Kent, and the driver of the SUV. Happy to hear you are OK. Take care, Lloyd.

Posted by NS9957 on December 11, 2007

I counted the seconds after he got off the crossing... and it was only two! Wow. People can be so idiotic. In my opinion, that guy going in front of the train made the video even better than it is! Good one! :D

Posted by Adam Christman (Penn Rail Videos) on December 11, 2007

My lord... I'll be damned! You we're very lucky he wasn't hit, because I'm sure you woulda been hurt too.

Posted by SK on December 12, 2007

Whew....!!!! Yeah,that was too close!

Posted by Barrythelion on December 13, 2007

Wow. That made my heart skip. No wonder people die on grade crossings.

Posted by M.T. Potter on December 15, 2007

Who cares how you blow for a crossing? The horn isn't gonna stop a thing. If I nail someone, all it is to me is more paperwork....

Posted by SCL Pete on December 16, 2007

Good judgement the hogger on not put'in her into emergency.I could see those cars jack-knifing at that speed.

Posted by K100DS on December 17, 2007

"Who cares how you blow for a crossing? The horn isn't gonna stop a thing." Well, when it's a crossing like this one -- no gates, no lights, no bells, no nothin' -- the loco horn is really the only way to warn motorists that you're coming through. That said, the hogger in this vid needs to brush up on how to do a proper Rule 14L, especially at unprotected crossings.

Posted by John G. on December 17, 2007

Another candidate for the "Darwin Award" caught on tape! Good job, Kent.

Posted by Jonathan Godwin on December 17, 2007

I'm sure when the driver looked out his window he only saw was a knuckle coupler. It's okay to be a little late to work, but I'm not so sure you want to show up to Heaven early (if that's where you're headed).

Posted by ACLTony on March 9, 2008

Incredible. What makes this frustrating is that in our modern "entitlement minded" society.....if the truck had been hit and the family would have shown this to a lawyer the railroad would have likely been sued because the engineer didn't blow the proper - - 0 - horn sequence. Of course the driver of the suv would have been seen as the victim. Locomotive crews running on U.S mainlines deserve a salute for all the stress that they must put up with. I'm very glad the train didn't hit that suv. More so because you likely would have been hit as well had it been 2 seconds slower.

Posted by Doug Wolfe on April 13, 2008

It's only a matter of time before a nit wit like that gets it. Awesome video Kent, but man you almost became toast because of that dope.

Posted by Andre Wilson on April 25, 2008

That was close!

Posted by Greg Wynn on May 7, 2008

I don't think the driver realized the train was even coming, after looking closer there are no flashing red lights, bells or gates. I think the railroad would be partly responsible if there had been an accident, even though the driver should have stopped. looked, and listened. Glad your ok though!

Posted by Tom Vance on May 9, 2008

My observation..and not placing any blame---Observation only for Safety--& I luv this site---- because I have done this too, and stood in the wrong location filming...but 1) was the videographer near the camera or did the videographer stand back the 70' required? 2) was the videographer a slight distraction....? was the SUV driver looking at the Vid-cam on a tripod and didn't put 1+1 together fast enough...? Go ahead and flame me - but all I can add is safety 1st - set the camera up and back away---maybe that will nullify the Vidcam operator from being cut in half if that sucker got hit..!! I support all of the vidcam guys and gals on this site - and only hope to add a 'safety note' for future thought..!!!

Posted by Eric B. on June 15, 2008

I think the driver DID hear and SEE the train but because the horn pattern was not correct, the driver mistook the short bursts for a slow moving train. No bell on this unit can be heard, probably another reason why the driver thought this train was far away and moving slow at the time. The instinct for the average driver who hears a slow train approaching is to keep moving; however, there is no excuse for not doing a Stop... Look, Listen and Live at this crossing. Despite the error in the horn pattern, the fault is of the driver. I hope this person had their license suspended for at least 90 days.

Posted by Kleetus92 on June 25, 2008

You're lucky you weren't wearing that S-10

Posted by Bryant Kaden on August 8, 2008

Actually, this video is a good warning, not just to motorists, but to all of us who go out and shoot videos or photos at railroad crossings as well. After having something similar to this happen to me once (although not nearly THAT close) a few years ago, I started making sure I am always standing on the side of the road that the train is coming from. That way, if someone's car gets smacked it doesn't wipe me out, too.

Posted by Sylvain Lacroix (Syltrain) on October 30, 2008

What a without genius. One second more this motorist will be killed outright. What idiotic. The Norfolk Southern must putting a new railroads crossings signalisation with lights,bells and barriers.

Posted by Vince on December 6, 2008

Sheesh Kent. Glad you are ok. Stay healthy so we can go grab Chad and do the Rathole this summer.... Vince

Posted by Charles J. Renella on July 7, 2009

Holy crap, that's close! I thought this was going to be another one of those rubber-necker type videos, but as I was watching it I kept thinking "the car should be crossing about now, the car should be crossing about now..." and when he finally crossed I couldn't believe it. Everyone involved here is extremely lucky. I don't know, an near-incident like that might keep me from getting that close to the tracks the next dozen or so times out.

Posted by Ben Waineo on August 25, 2009

You were very lucky to be alive!

Posted by Glock40 on September 28, 2009

This has to be one of the "closest shaves" I've ever seen between a train and motorist. This is simply the case of someone who knew the train was there and decided to take the chance, anyway. This is the kind of person who, if crossing gates were put up at this crossing, would drive around them. Kent, I share the sentiments of others in being glad you were safe. This is absolute idiocy.

Posted by Evan Manley on November 14, 2009

Wow, that is avery close call. It is to bad the police were not by the tracks to give him a ticket. Also the engineer was not honking very well either. It was very dumb of this driver to do this.

Posted by FredM Pohl on February 11, 2010

What a real bright boy

Posted by railfan4114 on October 28, 2010

God for bid they can't wait for the train to run by

Posted by Jerry on January 30, 2011

I hate to rain on your parade but in a way I feel the photographer was partially at fault, distracting the vehicle driver in my opinion. Yes the train crew blew some very quiet horns in my opinion for an NS powered train and with the driver zipping over the crossing with his dark tinted windows up and the radio going he probably never saw the train as he looked at the photographer trying to figure what he was up to. I have seen many photographers set up like this putting themselves in harms way in the even something like this happening. Next time go to the side of the crossing where the roadway will not obstruct your view and drivers will look in the direction you and the train are at.

Posted by 611N&WFan on March 17, 2011

Man talk about a close call there!

Posted by Jess J Puccio on March 25, 2011


Posted by crazy bob on April 11, 2011

We lived in Bulls Gap, Tenn. in an old railroad hotel built by the E T & V Ry when it came through in 1856. Our place was (still is), 6 feet from the main line. There is a crossing 8 feet to the south of the building. We would watch every day as cars would go around the gates. The trains came through at 40 m.p.h. We would stand on the front porch to watch trains. Back in 1955 a train hit a car and took the original porch off the building and the engine and transmission from the car came through the front doors. Both father and son were killed then. The 4 years we lived there only a trailer was destroyed but have tons of video of cars and even a UPS truck that the trains missed by as close as 1 inch. I had a permanent video camera mounted at track level. Yes people are very very stupid by crossing tracks like that. The UPS driver lost his job as i sent a copy of the video to his supervisor.

Posted by MrCraig1930 on April 24, 2011

As a retired ATSF Engineer. If people only knew what the Engineer's position is. As a retired Engineer myself, I have to live with a dead 3 year old boy for the rest of my life because of a stupid mother. My Conductor took his own life. Please, wait for the train to go by, It won't take more than 3 minutes of your time.

Posted by Matt on May 21, 2011

Jerry, even if the driver was looking at the person recording the train, it is still no excuse for a driver to run in front of a train just because they could beat it to the crossing. At crossings like this, you are supposed to stop, look, and listen. Did you see that SUV do that? No. Even if Kent did get hit, it would not all be blamed on him just because he was watching a train pass by.

Posted by proamtrak on June 6, 2011

Reminds me on when I almost Saw Santa Fe's 991 slice a car in two in a place called Kramer Jct. in California! Hope they called that idiot in!

Posted by Spencer Batey on July 5, 2011

I think the horn is correct.The first two are real short , then a shorter one , followed by along one to warn the the idiot. To me bad horn signals are not to blame.Glad nothing happened.

Posted by Steve Jeffs on August 19, 2011

G'day Kent, Yes, that could be a nasty problem when standing so close to a level crossing. Lucky for you (and also the idiot motorist) the car escaped a collision. I am interested in the position light type signal just beyond the crossing. hooroo, Steve.

Posted by Ron on January 14, 2013

Mr Potter after you have killed a kid then see what you think about the damn paper work apparently you have not been on a engine crew very long or your just lucky its never happened to you although you cant do a dam thing to prevent it and its in no way your fault its still the worse thing you will ever have to live with.

Posted by Owen on January 16, 2013

That was a close call! Stupid driver!

Posted by Railfan1354 on February 9, 2013

I see both sides of this as a problem. This is an unprotected crossing so I would have been laying on the horns if it were me as the engineer which he did not. Second thing is the driver it looks to me made no attempt to stop at this crossing so even if the engineer had been laying on the horns you would have seen the S-10 dive across like he did. I don't think he even saw the camera. I hope he had to change his underwear after he looked in the mirror to see how close he came to being another statistic. IF that is he even looked behind him in that mirror. Lets also not forget that this fast moving freight has all headlights working as well as the ditch lights so you tell me.. did the driver miss those but see the camera? I don't think so and if he did see the camera why did he not slow down and THINK hmmmm maybe there is something going on here that I should be aware of. Drivers have to stop and look at a wreck on the interstate when they are on the other side for crying out loud why would you not look for a train at a crossing that is unmarked? Basic rules of the road again that most people do not follow. I have been in this position many times with the digital camera because it makes for a good ground level shot and I have also had a few knuckleheads run over the crossing when in a similar position with the video camera again going for the good shot and thought to myself "One of these days". I try not to do it as much but like many of you.... being a railfan we are watching the train and not the fool that should be stopping for it. We all need to be aware of our surroundings when out railfanning because there are too many others that pay no attention at all and if you would like another example of that just think about your daily drive to work each day. Paulie

Posted by Quads on April 6, 2013

The automobile driver's fault completely. It is simple; stop, look, listen.

Posted by dee on September 4, 2014

+1 the suv driver was probably focusing on the photographer, not the train. As above, most cars with their windows closed and a/c on, can't hear a fast approaching train from a distance. Of course, that doesn't excuse the driver for not looking around for a train when approaching tracks. Drivers of both train and car probably had to change their underwear after tha one.

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