News Herald


By Jennifer Funk - Staff Writer

Port Clinton - It was a March weekend in 1995, and 16-year-old Ryan Moore's older brother inched the car up onto the railroad tracks to peek over the overgrown brush to look for a train in Stark County.

It was then that the car was broadsided by a Conrail train going 60 miles per hour through the crossing that had neither warning lights nor gates, killing Ryan and two other boys instantly.

Ryan's parents, Vicky and Dennis Moore of Canal Fulton, won an $8 million settlement in the suit that followed the accident and introduced the foundation they started with the money to Ottawa County commissioners Tuesday.

The Angels on Track Foundation, established in 1997, was created to establish railroad safety task forces in the 80 counties in Ohio where there are railroad crossings. Those task forces will identify dangerous crossings and apply for a matching grant to help pay for warning signals.

"We knew had there been gates or lights there that day, there never would have been a collision," Vicky told commissioners.

She said Stark County officials found out later the crossing her son died at was the most dangerous in the county.

"It was too late, my son was gone," she said.

She saked commissioners to start a task force made up of county, city and village officials as well as residents to identify trouble crossings, prioritize which need warning signals and take digital pictures of the crossings for a database the foundation is compiling.

She said the information the state has compiled is old and not updated as to the amount of accidents and vehicles that cross specific tracks.

Commissioners told the Moores there is already updated county information and there is a plan in place to get gates and lights at a majority of the high traffic crossings in the county.

"We're working on them-it's not like they're just sitting there," Commissioner John Papcun said. "But it's like you said, you have to keep plugging at it.

The foundation is offering a match of 30 percent of the total cost of the warning signals up to $40,000.

Commissioner Carl Koebel said after the meeting that the commissioners will get with Board President Steve Arndt, who could not attend the meeting, and discuss the proposal.

"I'm sure we'll put together a task force, it's just a matter of who it's going to be," he said.


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