Bastrop, La. — Another life has been claimed at a private railroad crossing in front of Kennedy Rice Dryers in Mer Rouge, La.
According to Morehouse Parish Sheriff Mike Tubbs, a fatality occurred shortly before 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 21 and is still under investigation by the Mer Rouge Police Department.
Mer Rouge Police Department Chief of Police Mitch Stephens confirmed to the Enterprise that Charlie Pete Chism, a Mer Rouge resident born in 1947, died in the accident. Chism was employed by Kennedy Rice Dryers and often stopped at Food Fast in Mer Rouge to pick up drinks and food to deliver back to workers at the facility.
According to reports confirmed by Chief Stephens, Chism had left Food Fast earlier this morning before the accident occurred.
Chism was traveling north on Highway 165, also known as the Wilmot Hwy., parallel to the railroad tracks as the train approached.
According to witnesses spoken to by the MRPD, Chism was trying to beat the train over the tracks at the crossing when his vehicle was struck by the locomotive.
As of 3:30 p.m. a Union Pacific train remains stationary just north of the accident site and is being watched by a UP pick-up truck. The train crossing remained closed as of Sunday.
On March 10, 2012 a fatal accident occurred at the same crossing and two women, Christina Vazquez Casarez, age 39, and Juana Vazquez, 31, were killed.
The Bastrop Daily Enterprise has reached out to Union Pacific for any comment on the accident. Additional details about the accident will appear in the Tuesday, June 24 edition of the Enterprise.