New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 2, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
► Showing off
Texas has 12,278 public highway-rail grade crossings, the highest number in the nation. There are also approximately'
6, 200 private grade crossings in Texas. This is a major reason why Texas had more crashes in 1998 than any other state:
■ Most crashes are preventable According to Railroad Commission data, of the 322 crashes which occurred at highway-rail crossings in Texas in 1998:
• 69 percent occurred in clear weather;
• 72 percent involved train speeds of less than 39 mph;
• 69 percent happened during daylighthours;
• 44 percent occurred at crossings with
active warning signals (flashing lights and/or gates); and
• 28 percent involved vehicles stopped, stalled or trapped in traffic on the crossing.
■ A motorist is 40 times more likely to die in a vehicle-train collision than any other type of highway crash.
■ Every 115 minutes a pedestrian or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States.
■ A car traveling 55 mph needs approximately 200 feet to stop, but the average freight train, traveling 55 mph needs a mile or more to stop. A mile is equal to about 18 football fields.
Source: Commission on Texas Railroads
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HeraldVol. 149, No. 96 42 pages in 5 sections April 2, 2000 ^*oma* C°unty since 1852 $1.00
Four hospitalized in accident near Garden Ridge
Health key in clean air fight
By Erin MAGRUDER
With another sweltering Central Texas summer around the comer, residents will have another foe to sweat besides the heat.
Warmer days also mean ozone levels can fluctuate to dangerously high levels — and the Alamo Area Council of Governments wants people to understand the real cost of air quality problems is the health of individuals.
AACOG kicked off its Air Quality Health Alert Season, which runs from April until the end of October, during a press conference Friday morning in San Antonio.
lf Air Quality Health Alert (formerly known as Ozone Action Days) does not ring a bell — AACOG officials hope it should at least sound the alarms of local residents.
The new campaign plans to reroute residents’ focus from the financial impacts of dirty air to the health risks posed by ozone — the most widespread air pollution problem.
AACOG Air Improvement Resources Executive Committee members — area county judges, commissioners and mayors — met at IO a.m. at St. Phillip’s College, 1801 Martin Luther King Drive, to discuss air quality health concerns and simple, preventative measures residents could take to clean up the air.
“Things we do everyday affect our health,” said Boerne mayor Patrick Heath. “Refueling, driving, cutting the lawn — these are the things that pollute our air.”
Comal County Commissioner Jay Minikin, a member of the committee who spoke at the conference, said he whole-heartedly supported the new campaign.
“The issue is our individual health — and that’s what this is about,” Minikin said.
During 1999, the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area,Weather
Rain chances continue to be high for the remainder of the weekend. Flash flood watches were issued for Saturday night and today. For the complete forecast, see 2A.Index
Key code 77
Early voting in the
Republican primary run-off election between Comal County Pct. 4 constable candidates Ben Scroggin and J. Ronald “Star"’ Carey will run 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave.Constable candidates prepare for runoffs
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
Comal County Pct. 4 constable candidates Ben Scroggin and J. Ronald “Star” Carey are hitting the campaign trail to get voters back out to the polls April ll for a tight Republican mn-off primary race.
Carey, a former military police officer, and Scroggin, a retired senior Army officer, were the top vote-getters in a five-way primary race March 14.
The winner of the run-off election will face Democratic challenger Jim Sutton in the Nov. 7 general election.
Pct. 4 constable Ed Mullins did not file for re-election. The Pct. 4 constable position represents the Canyon Lake area.
Early voting in the Republican run-off election for the Pct. 4 constable position starts 8 a.m. Monday at the Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave.
Early voting runs 8 arn. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday at the courthouse. •
Election day voting will take place April 11 at
By Christina Minor Staff writer
SCHERTZ —A Union Pacific train and an 18-wheel truck collided here after the truck stopped on railroad tracks in the 9000 block of Doerr Lane Friday afternoon.
The incident sent the truck’s driver and passenger by Airlife to University Hospital in San Antonio and two others were taken by Schertz Area Fire Emergency Services to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
The occupants of the truck, 58-year-old Seguin resident Tommy Kirkland and his wife, 51-year-old Cynthia Kirkland, were taken to University Hospital. They were reported to be in stable condition Saturday afternoon.
The engineer and conductor, both men in their 30s, were taken to BAMC. As of press time Saturday, the identities and conditions of the two men had not been released.
A witness said the engineer and conductor jumped from the train before it struck the tractor-trailer.
Schertz Police Officer John Correu said the truck was traveling north on Doerr Lane after dropping off a load at Intsel Southwest, a steel construction company located next to the railroad tracks, when it stopped on the tracks. The couple was headed back to Seguin, he said.
The truck was from Eastern Anderson Venture Transport in Seguin.
“We are not sure why he stopped,” Correu said. “The train hit the truck and drug it several feet.”
The train was en route from Eagle Pass to Memphis, Term.
Schertz Fire Marshal Glen Outlaw said the train’s
See RAILROAD/5 A
Smithson Valley baseball falls to Canyon Friday night. Get the complete story./1 B
► Don’t forget
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herakj-Zeitung
The lights on the scoreboard went out early Friday night, just as the hopes of the Rangerettes dimmed. Half-back Tommi Parsons, injured late in the game, did not take the 3-1 loss easy.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Schertz Area Fire Emergency Services continue cooling the blaze caused when an 18-wheel truck and train collided Friday afternoon in the 9000 block of Doerr Lane. Officials said they had not before experienced an accident at that particular crossing.
► Noting music
The love of music brings the Comal Community Band together once a week to practice and often to play for the public. Learn how to become part of it./1C
Be sure to set your clocks and watches forward one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, April 2.