Local groups support Angels On Track fundraiser
Local businesses are working to keep the memory of Amanda White — a young woman killed just days after she graduated from Wellington High School — alive.
On July 14, 2007, Amanda Marie White, 18, was killed from injuries sustained from a train/car collision on the tracks of Baker Road.
Residents of Lorain County can participate in a fundraiser, along with local businesses and WOBL/WDLW radio, for the Angels On Track Foundation, to promote and perpetuate railroad crossing safety in the county.
Villagers can go to http://woblwdlw.com/sabrina.html to see a list of the local businesses designated “Halo Crossings.” Citizens can then stop in and donate any dollar amount at those locations to the Angels On Track Foundation. Donators will then earn a “Halo Crossing” sign with their name on it to be displayed in the store.
“Amanda was an EMT, she had just passed her boards before the accident. With spreading railroad crossing safety, she can do what she always wanted to do, save lives,” said friend and fundraiser organizer Sabrina Settlemire.
The Angels On Track Foundation was pioneered by Vicky and Denny Moore in 1997. Two years earlier, their son was killed at an un-lit, non-gated railroad crossing that had already claimed the lives of eight people since 1975. After a judgment from the Ohio Supreme Court, the Moores used all of the settlement to start a foundation dedicated to improving railroad crossing conditions and educating good drivers about bad crossings.
“Sabrina contacted our foundation last October about doing a fundraiser for Angels On Track in the memory of Amanda White. This is our first fundraiser, we don’t actively solicit. It was a good kick in the butt; we have new fundraisers planned now,” said Vicky Moore.
The Angels On Track Foundation welcomes all the help they receive, as they have had to battle several entities to bring about change.
“We first went county to county, to the department of transportation, talked to school bus drivers, and helped fund gate crossings. We put up 17 sets of gates totaling $400,000.”
The early success of the foundation was short lived.
“We would give money for railroad improvements, but then there wasn’t any follow through, just hands out asking for money, so we discontinued the task force,” Moore said.
With some restructuring and involvement from concerned people, the foundation has put up 28 gates at bad railroad crossings.
Bad crossings can be reported to the foundation website, www.anglesontrack.org, or to the federal railroad administration.
“FRA is responsible for updating information on new and existing crossings from the USDOT National Highway Rail Crossing Inventory Program: www.fra.dot.gov,” said Vicky Moore.
Lorain County residents can also look at each individual railroad crossing on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio website, http://gradecrossings.puco.ohio.gov. The site has specific track pictures, crossing angles, if there are warning devices and what types, areas to post comments, and train frequency for the whole county.
“Everyone in Wellington was all gun ho for the fundraiser, so much so that we’ve extended it through May 31,” Settlemire said.
Through action and enlightenment, hopefully the lone cross that still stands at the crossing where Amanda White was killed, will be the last of its kind.
by ADAM FOX