Mom & 3 Kids Killed In Crash a Block Away from Halloween Parade

railroad crossingA horrific accident happened on yesterday when a family was driving to attend their local Halloween parade. Thirty-five-year-old Crystal Anna of Greenville, Illinois, was driving the family SUV with four of her children -- 18-year-old Alyssa Sewell, 13-year-old Drake Wisnasky, 10-year-old Anna Wisnasky, and 9-year-old Dylan Wisnasky. There are conflicting stories as to what exactly happened but those at the scene reported that Crystal, described as a very devoted mother, was driving toward the Halloween parade when her car got boxed in on the railroad tracks in downtown Vandalia due to traffic when the train came.


Investigators are also looking into if she drove past the flashing signals and didn't make it off the tracks in time to avoid the CSX freight train. But several witnesses are disputing that. The accident occurred one block from the parade. The children Alyssa, Drake, and Anna died on the scene.

Mother and son Dylan were rushed to the hospital where mom Crystal succumbed to her injuries and died. Dylan is still in the hospital and it's believed he hasn't yet been told of what happened to his family. His father and 14-year-old brother Dalton were not in the car at the time of the accident.

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A local resident Desiree Fischer, who witnessed the terrifying accident said the car was trapped:

She had been sitting for a few minutes off the tracks. The cars moved ahead of her. She pulled up to go over the tracks, and the car in front of her stopped. That’s when the lights started flashing and then boom, the train hit them.

Vandalia's Halloween parade went on as planned with many probably completely unaware of the tragedy just one block away. It's the town's biggest event, with a dozen marching bands and everyone dressed up for Halloween.

This is so horrible. I can't help but feel that train should have been prevented from passing at the same time as the massive parade. It seems to be an area that isn't used to so much traffic, by cars and by foot. With all the locals and neighboring townspeople flooding the area, and traffic building up, a speeding train can and did create disaster. That train should have been stopped or at least made to drive through the town at a slower pace. I'm not in the know of how trains work, but if they could go at a slower pace, then that should have been done. My thoughts and prayers are with the family, and especially for Dylan who I hope is able to pull through this.

What do you think? Should the train been prevented from entering the town during the time of the parade or at least made to drive much slower?

Image via jnyemd/Flickr

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