No serious injuries from train-SUV crash

The Thursday morning crash of a sports-utility vehicle with a long train north of the Edinburgh Premium Outlets did not result in any serious injuries.

However, the 7 a.m. accident did completely block traffic at multiple German Township intersections for about 90 minutes, causing delays for school buses serving Taylorsville Elementary School, police said.

Evidence indicates the driver of an eastbound 2010 Dodge Journey on County Road 200W — identified as James Haddix, 47, of Columbus — did not see the northbound train near the intersection of County Road 800N, said Capt. Dave Steinkoenig, commander of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department’s road division.

The front of the train struck the passenger side of the SUV, pushing it about 100 yards down the tracks before the vehicle rolled and came to rest on the driver’s side, Steinkoenig said.

Due largely to the vehicle’s airbags, the driver and sole occupant appeared to sustain only a minor hand injury. Haddix was taken by a family member to be checked at Columbus Regional Hospital, the officer said.

Steinkoenig said the train must have been at least a mile-and-a-half long because it also blocked County Road 650N, which would have provided school bus drivers with an alternate route to Taylorsville Elementary.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. was immediately notified so it could take appropriate actions, Steinkoenig said.

Since development of the outlet mall, County Road 800N carries significant cross-county traffic, the captain said.

A similar accident in November 2005 at the same intersection claimed the life of Jeffrey Martin, 19, of Edinburgh.

However, the railroad crossing still does not have illumination, railroad lights or stop arms that may have helped prevent both accidents, Steinkoenig said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.