Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Plane Last Week and Three Amtrak Crashes in 24 Hours: Still Not as Bad as That BP Gulf Oil Spill

Last week, a small plane crashed at the intersection of West End Boulevard and Harrison Avenue in New Orleans, La. As it went down, it clipped a minivan, but no one was treated for injuries. The plane crashed along a route I travel often, and I would have taken a photo of the wreckage when I drove by hours later and the police were still there, but my adult son and daughter, who were in the car, whined like toddlers that they were hungry. So, I kept driving home.

And then yesterday morning I heard the news that an Amtrak train had derailed in Slidell, La., near a house that I own. The train crashed into a tractor-trailer carrying military vehicles to the Textron plant. An Amtrak official said the truck was blocking the railroad crossing; however, Slidell officials say the intersection lacks a crossing warning. Only minor injuries in that one, thank God. The truck driver was injured, but it was also a passenger train headed to New York, The Crescent. It could have been much worse. Read more of the story at WVUE, which is the source of the video below, and has video with more passenger interviews.

In addition, today I've read that an Amtrak train struck a woman's minivan in Jefferson Parish, killing her. WVUE says it's the third Amtrak crash in Louisiana in 24 hours; another woman was struck as she walked along the train tracks in Vinton. She did not survive.

My rational side tells me that these are random incidents and to remember that random events sometimes appear to have patterns that aren't actually present. My emotions, however, are screaming, "What is going on?"

Finally, it's the first anniversary of the BP Oil Spill that mesmerized and angered so many of us last year. Where should I start? I was pretty much obsessed with it, but this year I wish I could forget it.

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