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WAFB has reported that Pastor Fanley Thomas and his wife, Florence, were killed at a railroad crossing in Le Moyen, Louisiana on Sunday morning on their way to church.

LE MOYEN, LA (WAFB) – A St. Landry Parish pastor and his wife died after authorities said a train slammed into their car Sunday morning.

Pastor Fanley Thomas and his wife, Florence, were killed at a railroad crossing in the town of Le Moyen, which is located in the northern part of the parish.

According to sheriff’s deputies, the train hit the car on the passenger side, causing it to burst into flames.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Pastor Thomas’s family and congregation. This event is a tragic reminder of railroad crossing accident dangers and a call to action for all railroad companies to make their crossings safer. Railroad companies owe it to the public to make sure that no one dies in another train crash like this one.

There have been several tragic railroad crossing crashes in recent months — many due to defects and problems with the crossings themselves.

There were reports in New Jersey of railroad crossing signal malfunctions that caused warning lights to go off when no train was present. These malfunctions lead to train collisions.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (BNSF) was fined $4 million for lying to a Minnesota court and attempting to cover up its role in a tragic train crossing crash that killed four people.

Relatives and extended church family of Pastor Thomas and his wife, Florence, are mourning their loss. Pastor Thomas just recently warned his community about the dangers of having a train crossing with no warning lights. Pastor Thomas will be missed by those who knew him.

"If you didn’t meet this fellow, you missed a gem because he was one of the greatest people to walk the face of this earth," said Raymon Whitehurst, Thomas’s brother-in-law.

Railroad companies should be held accountable for dangers railroad crossings that kill. Is there a different set of rules for railroad companies than for everyone else? If a railroad has a dangerous crossing where large trains speed through, shouldn’t they warn approaching motorists? Why did the railroad never put up a proper warning device?

You can learn more about how to protect yourself at railroad crossings at by visiting our railroad safety blog or web site.

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