Things almost went horribly wrong for a woman who was trapped on the wrong side of a stopped train during a diabetic emergency.
Sharon Orange works at Bison Printing in Bedford, Virginia. There’s only one way in and one way out of the location, and it involves crossing over a set of train tracks at Abrasive Avenue.
Sharon was on her way home from the office one evening when she was stopped by a passing train. At first, she wasn’t bothered by the situation, but then she started feeling disoriented due to a lack of food.
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“At a certain point, I started feeling strange, and I thought, ‘This is not good. I need to get my medication,” she recalls.
Sharon went to check whether anyone was even on the stopped train, but she didn’t find anyone. She was forced to wait several more hours, knowing no one would be able to get to her where she was and that there wasn’t any way to turn around and find a different way out.
“I was a little panicky there the last few hours. I just had an uneasy feeling, and I was angry. There were a lot of emotions going on at that point,” Sharon says.
When she’d been trapped for several hours, Sharon finally called 911, and EMS were dispatched to try to get to her location. She was trapped for a total of nine hours before she got help.
“I was trying to leave work at about 5:30 for dinner, and I actually got out and left for home at 2 a.m.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time employees and residents in the area have been trapped on the wrong side of a stopped train. Sharon’s boss, Al Beissner, says he has always worried that some sort of emergency would occur while a train was blocking the road.
“What we feared almost happened Saturday,” he says. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt. We don’t want a house to burn down. We don’t want somebody to die.”
The owner of the railroad, Norfolk Southern, has acknowledged the situation and issued a statement:
“Norfolk Southern is aware of the concerns in Bedford County, and we regret any inconveniences to the community. We are working closely with our team to review the matter and monitor local operations.
“Norfolk Southern makes every effort to minimize the time that trains interrupt motor vehicle traffic at railroad crossings and works to resume the safe movement of trains as quickly as possible. At times, rail operations and weather conditions can require a train to stop or slow, resulting in a temporarily blocked crossing. In this case, operational challenges impacted our ability to quickly move the train.”
We hope, for the safety of Sharon and others who live and work on that side of the train tracks, that Norfolk Southern is able to work the situation out.Whizzco