Loyalist Township residents concerned about rail crossing safety

Click to play video 'County road 6 rail crossing unsafe say residents' County road 6 rail crossing unsafe say residents
WATCH: Residents concerned about condition of County Road 6 rail crossing – Jul 18, 2019

Joe Vancoughnett is standing next to a stack of railway ties a couple of metres off the shoulder of County Road 6 in Loyalist Township.

He’s looking at debris from a pickup truck that smashed into the ties Tuesday afternoon.

“To move this whole pile, I’m surprised she wasn’t killed,” Vancoughnett said, referring to the truck’s driver.

The ties are roughly 30 yards south of a CN level railway crossing that Vancoughnett thinks isn’t safe.

“It’s accident after accident,” he said.

“Now, mind you, they haven’t been fatal accidents, but there have been accidents.”

READ MORE: Beaconsfield to reconfigure traffic lights to ease congestion at busy intersection

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The driver in Tuesday’s crash was taken to hospital with minor injuries, and no charges were laid.

Napanee OPP couldn’t confirm the cause of the single-vehicle collision, but the southbound truck did crash a short distance after the rail crossing.

Jessica Vancoughnett, Joe’s daughter, also lives on County Road 6 several hundred metres north of the crossing.

She says the bumpy, uneven crossing has caused damage to her vehicle.

“The wheel bearing in my car is so bad that it’s growling at me, it’s angry, and I’ll tell you it’s been through a number of bouncing acts itself through this train tracks,” she explained.

WATCH: (May 24, 2018) OPP say two people killed after fatal collision in Amherstview

Click to play video 'OPP say two people killed after fatal collision in Amherstview' OPP say two people killed after fatal collision in Amherstview
OPP say two people killed after fatal collision in Amherstview – May 24, 2018

Joe says he’s been trying for at least two years to get the crossing improved without success.

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“The situation is we phone CN Rail, and CN Rail sends us to our township and we really get no solution,” he said.

According to CN, the crossing is the responsibility of both CN Rail and Loyalist Township.

An email statement from CN claims the crossing is safe and protected by gates and lights.

CN’s media relations and public affairs senior adviser Alexandre Boule, who wrote the email, added:

“CN is currently in discussion with the Loyalist Township to see what can be done to improve this crossing as it is located on a curve and has double tracks.”

READ MORE: CN Railway to fix ‘unsafe’ walkway on Sainte-Ambroise Street

Both Joe and Jessica Vancoughnett say they’ve seen vehicles drive into the opposing traffic lane to avoid the bumpiest parts of the crossing.

Joe adds more than one motorist has lost parts from their vehicle at the crossing.

“I’ve seen people lose their oil pan on this track here,” Joe said.

Vancoughnett might see more car parts on the roadside before the crossing is improved.

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County Road 6 is a busy thoroughfare that links Highway 33 to the 401 near the growing community of Amherstview.