Desoto Parish crash claims three lives
Posted on 2/17/2015 10:09:00 AM.
State Police say a train-truck crash in Desoto Parish has killed three men.  Trooper Matt Harris says a group of oil field vehicles were traveling on a private road yesterday afternoon when a truck, driven by 23-year-old John Watson of Centerville, approached some railroad tracks.

"And stopped, like they were supposed to, from information that we received through the investigation.  And basically eased up onto the tracks and by the time they saw the train, it was too late."

Watson and one passenger, 24-year-old Michael Ryder II of Goldonna, were pronounced dead at the scene.  Another passenger, 35-year-old Herbert Barras III of Charenton died later at an area hospital.   Harris says this is just a terrible tragedy all the way around.

"They were conducting their daily duties, we don't suspect any impairment.  We don't suspect any criminal negligence on the railroad, the engineer, or the conductor.  We don't suspect any negligence or criminal aspects on that end."

Harris says this particular crossing has passive warning signals, a stop sign and a railroad crossing sign.  He says this particular signal type is common for private and low traffic roads.  Harris says it's important for motorists to heed these warnings because the train always has the right-of-way.

"We urge motorists to obey those stop signs and treat those railroad crossings like a roadway intersection.  Stop and look and listen for that train before you proceed forward."
Desoto Parish, Matt Harris, John Watson, Michael Ryder, Herbert Barras

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