OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team obtained exclusive video showing drivers confused by a detour sign driving onto train tracks. And the I-Team quickly got something done about this hazard that almost turned deadly.
In Olmsted Falls, three drivers in two weeks got stuck on the tracks, and in one case, it happened even as a freight train was barreling down the tracks.
We found a detour sign with a turn arrow at a busy railroad crossing on Columbia near Bagley. At night, police found drivers getting confused by the arrow and turning onto the railroad tracks. The actual detour turn was more than a block away.
Police body camera video shows an officer approaching one driver who got stuck with a child. The officer said, "OK, so you were following the detour sign?" The woman answered, "I came to the detour sign, and I turned too early. I couldn't see. Once I turned, I got stuck." She added, “And I tried to get off ... and, I couldn't."
Olmsted Falls Police Chief Bill Traine showed us the crossing and why he’s not surprised drivers have gotten confused. He says the detour relates to a county construction project in town. And Traine says, on Wednesday, police met with the county and the construction company pointing out the problem.
However, when the I-Team went out there on Thursday, nothing had changed. So we called the county.
Within an hour, a crew came out and removed the sign that had been causing confusion. We asked one worker why that hadn’t been done sooner, and it seems red tape got in the way. He told us, "This is put up according to code, it's got to be studied and taken down according to code.”
The rail crossing already was dangerous without the detour. A while back, a truck got stuck on the tracks, and a freight train hit it.
In the case of the woman and child, police were able to quickly make contact with the train, and it stopped before any collision.