train tracksTwo children were recently killed when their mother ignored the train track gates and drove over the tracks, colliding with an oncoming train. Four-year-old Erika Clark and 5-year-old Kallie Clark were tragically killed the instant the train hit the minivan. Mom Tara Lewman and 1-year-old daughter Jordan Clark are currently in the hospital -- their conditions unknown.

Apparently, after waiting for a while to cross the tracks, Lewman decided to drive around the lowered crossing arms, and past a stopped train. But when she was crossing the tracks, she realized that a second, moving train -- which she hadn't seen because had been blocked by the first (stopped) train -- was coming right at them.

Although driving around lowered crossing arms sounds like a crazy thing to do, and it's something most of us wouldn't do, apparently this is a fairly common practice at the Iowa intersection where the accident took place. And it's so, so sad that someone -- children, no less -- had to be made the example of.

Most of us break little rules all the time and don't even think twice. We cross the street when we shouldn't. We make a right on red when no one's around. We drive 40 mph in a 35. Of course, we don't think we're doing anything wrong, and we don't think anything will happen to us, but once in a great while, something does happen to someone. And that person is the example. And as awful and terrible as it is, it's a reminder to those of us more fortunate that there are rules for a reason. We're the lucky ones who get to look on and think, "That could have been me." And we learn to never do it again.

It's a heartbreaking tragedy that these two innocent girls had their lives taken away from them by something that could have easily been prevented. But hopefully, this will prevent other people from ever doing this again.

Thoughts and prayers to the family.

Do you ever break small rules?

 

Image via FuLinHyu/Flickr