‘Train Dodging’ Video Raises Safety Concerns

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OLMSTED TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- It’s a dangerous game that could turn deadly:  young people recording themselves playing chicken with a train.

The Olmsted Township police and the Norfolk Southern Railroad police say they want to find the people before someone gets killed.

"Train dodge, oh goodie," one of the people says on the video.

Fox 8 is showing the video as a warning of the potentially deadly dangers of a stunt like this.

Police are now trying to track down the young men who recorded themselves playing a  game of chicken on railroad tracks.

"Oh, it's going fast,” says another person in the video as the train sounds its horn.

The young men barely get out of the way before the train speeds by.  Investigators believe this video was taken in Olmsted Township.  They say the people in the video did it once in October and again last month, then posted the video online.

"The fact that kids are putting these videos out there, they kind of encourage other folks to do the same thing, it just creates the potential for more hazardous situations, where people could be struck and killed," said Steve Friday.

Friday is the Ohio coordinator for Operation Lifesaver, a national rail safety organization.  He says the people in the video were not only a risk to themselves, but to the train and people who live in the area.  He says the typical freight train weighs about 12 million pounds and takes at least a mile to come to a stop.

"All that weight shifts forward and it can cause the train to derail," Friday said.

Alexis Compton and her family live next to the railroad tracks in Olmsted Township.  She says she constantly sees people risking their lives on the tracks.

"That doesn't surprise me much, they ride their dirt bikes around here, they hop on trains just to be funny, putting stuff on railroad tracks to get ran over," said Compton.

"I don't think it's safe, somebody can get hurt, get killed, end up in the hospital, dead," said her sister, Emily Winkelman.

"Why would you do that to put your life at risk or to seek attention, that's what I'm assuming, some kids are downright crazy for doing that," said resident Tyler Getty.

"It is not something that we want to happen because it just encourages copycat people trying to 'one up' somebody else and every time you roll the dice, the likelihood is that you might not survive it, and we don't want that to happen," said Friday.

Officials say criminal trespassing is a fourth degree misdemeanor, punishable by a $100 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

If you recognize the people in the video, you’re asked to call the Olmsted Township police at 440-235-3335 or the Norfolk Southern Railroad police at 216-441-1866.