Train Victim's Parents Fund Safety Project

The Independent 

August 4, 1999

 by: Tom Prusha

Bethlehem Township trustees have granted a request from the Angels on Track Foundation for installation of a new high-tech warning system at the Lawndell Avenue Southwest crossing.

The foundation, dedicated to enhancing rail crossing safety, was created by Dennis and Vicky Moore of Lawrence Township. The Moores' son, Ryan, was killed along with two other teens in a 1995 car-train crash at the Deerfield Avenue crossing in Bethlehem Township. Three other teens in the car were injured in the accident.

The foundation was created with $5.4 million awarded to the Moores in a civil judgment stemming from their son's death.

The equipment to be installed at the Lawndell crossing was donated to Angels on Track by the Nebraska-based EVA Signal Corp.

It is a state-of-the-art warning system which combines the traditional crossbuck sign with red flashing lights, a strobe bar five feet above the crossbuck and an indicator which shows the direction of an approaching train.

The Lawndell crossing is on the Wheeling & Lake Erie line. The work has the blessing of railroad officials, but the project still must be approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Once approved, EVA Signal said it will take about a week to 10 days to install the gates, Vicky Moore said.

"We chose the Lawndell crossing because it is on a high-speed line and Lawndell is a busy street. Also a man ran into a train there years ago. He wasn't killed but he was disabled," she said. "I know there are more dangerous crossings in Stark County, but this is a crossing which had approval from the railroad."

About three trains a day use the tracks.

"This is a win-win situation for us," said Trustee President Richard Regula in recommending trustees approve the plan.

Trustees Richard Shetler and Dean Goodman agreed, and the motion won unanimous approval.

In other action Tuesday, trustees decided to hold contract discussions with Bethlehem Fire & Rescue Inc. officials at the next regular meeting, set for Aug. 17.

The trustees also learned the township zoning commission will meet Aug. 10 to discuss cellular towers and fences around industrial areas in the township.


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