Higbee residents want improved warnings at railroad tracks

Some Higbee residents want flashing lights at this railroad crossing.

Residents in one mid-Missouri town are calling for better warning signals at a railroad crossing after a train and vehicle collided Thursday night in Randolph County.

Authorities say 48-year-old Teresa Beal failed to yield to an oncoming train at the tracks on South Randolph Street in Higbee.

"The train was on the tracks blocking the crossing, the victims car was knocked off the tracks and the victim was laying outside of the car," Randolph County Sheriff Mark Nichols described the scene when he arrived.

Higbee resident Dora Redifer was leaving a nearby VFW when she heard the train screeching, which she said is unusual.

When she turned around, she saw a cloud of dust and knew something bad had happened.

Redifer rushed to the tracks and crawled under the stopped train, where she found Beal.

"I told her not to move and I just wanted her to blink her eyes when I needed her to respond to me," Redifer said.

Redifer, who has known Beal for about 25 years, waited with Beal until paramedics arrived.

While rare, this is not the first incident of the sort at the Randolph Street crossing.

"We've had train and car accidents at that crossing before, and we have had fatalities there," Sheriff Nichols said.

Many residents are calling for improved warning signals at the crossing, saying the stop sign is not enough.

"Some kind of lights flashing or the arms, or something. There are stop signs here, but people don't stop," Redifer said.

As of Friday evening, Beal is still listed in serious condition at University Hospital.