BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio -- At least two people per year die from train accidents in Butler County, giving it the second highest mark for fatal accidents in Ohio that involve trains.
A report from Journal-News said most of the fatal incidents have occurred in and around Oxford.
The Journal-News learned from police that four students have been killed in accidents with trains within the past eight years, near Oxford.
About a month ago, authorities identified a Miami University student found dead on the tracks. Police said he was believed to have been hit around 3 a.m. after walking on the tracks.
Those four losses prompted Miami University to raise safety precautions, encouraging students to look out for each other. Their campaign is called "I Am Miami."
“The tracks kind of run through town, so for example, the person who found Mr. Jarman on the tracks was cutting through to go to McDonald’s that morning,” said Sgt. Jon Varley of the Oxford police.“We have a lot of people who will use the railroad tracks as an avenue to get into town.”
Of the numerous fatalities, most of them happened when pedestrians trespassed on tracks, Journal-News found from the Federal Railroad Association.
"We have launched more discussions this fall about being caring and helpful with others, and those talks have continued following the death of Jacob Jarman last month. While we may not know what caused him to be hit by the train, we do know that watching out for each other can improve safety for students and others,” said Claire Wagner, spokeswoman for Miami University.
Journal-News said train-related accidents have killed 17 people since 2005. That number falls just short of that in Cleveland's Cuyahoga County, where 18 were killed. In Hamilton County, 15 have died.
For each year since 2005, one to three people have died in accidents involving trains. Of the total count of 17, less than five involved automobiles, according to Journal-News.
Butler County has substantial industrial traffic and Journal-News found from Jason Gilham, deputy director of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, that industrial traffic imposes a higher number of track crossings.
PUCO has worked to make these crossings safer. Gilham told Journal-News that the commission has installed lights and gates, supplemental assistance upgrades, circuitry upgrades and closing.
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