Petition Seeks Fence Near Indiana Tracks Where 2 Toddlers Hit by Train - NBC Chicago

Petition Seeks Fence Near Indiana Tracks Where 2 Toddlers Hit by Train

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family Crusades for Reforms After Children Hit by Train

    There are calls for a Northwest Indiana city to take action following a deadly accident involving a train and two young children. NBC 5's Chris Coffey has the latest from Portage after the childrens' grandfather speaks out. 

    (Published Friday, Aug. 24, 2018)

    There are calls for a northwest Indiana city to take action following a deadly accident involving a train and two young children.

    So far thousands of people have signed a petition and a grandfather of the victims is speaking out.

    Along the train line an unspeakable tragedy occurred more than two weeks ago where a young boy and his sister were hit by a train.

    Police say the accident is still under investigation.

    But their grandfather says something must be done to prevent future accidents.

    A memorial is now at the scene where 3-year-old Caleb Wilson was hit and killed by a train near a Portage Park mobile home park earlier this month.

    His 2-year-old sister Ellie was seriously injured.

    Their grandfather Paul Ramsey says he's trying to come to grips with what happened.

    "I don't want parents and grandparents to go through what we've gone through," he said. "It's too much of a loss."

    "I love him and I miss him," he added.

    Police say the siblings snuck out of a screen door and walked just feet away from the Woodland Village mobile home park and on to these CSX railroad tracks.

    The train conductor blew his horn and tried to stop but the freight train struck the toddlers.

    Federal rail officials say nine people were killed trespassing on railroad tracks in Indiana last year, and there were 15 fatalities in Illinois.

    Still, Ramsey says someone needs to build a fence near the tracks.

    "I just wish people could get together and help get this done," he said. "I (would) like to get it done and do it in Caleb's memory and so we don't have to lose anybody else to something like this. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with."

    So far more than 2200 people have signed a petition demanding a barrier separating the homes from the tracks.

    "The incident in Portage is a tragedy and our thoughts are with all of those impacted," CSX said in a statement. "We are aware of the community’s concerns and have spoken with elected officials and will continue to keep an open line of communication with them. Typically municipalities, developers or private property owners choose to build a barrier on their property, and CSX works closely with them so they can safely do so."

    NBC 5 has learned Ellie is out of the hospital.

    Meantime the railroad says cost sharing could be part of the discussions.

    The property office says there are no plans at the moment to build a fence. but the mayor of the city of Portage says he looks forward to working with the petitioners to keep residents safe.

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