Tuesday’s fatal bus-train crash happened in the same spot where a PepsiCo truck got stuck and hit by a train in January on the railroad crossing’s steep incline.
It’s also the second time in a year a tour bus got stuck on the Main Street crossing, and it’s the fourth time in a year vehicles have been hit by trains in East Biloxi.
In March, city officials said a bus carrying 28 people got stuck on the tracks, but it was not hit by a train.
That same month, a train hit a car stalled on the tracks at Oak Street. In September, a freight train hit a Mercedes-Benz car at Nixon Street, three blocks from Tuesday’s crash. And Jan. 5, the PepsiCo tractor-trailer got stuck crossing the tracks at Main Street and Esters Boulevard.
The Pepsi driver told the Sun Herald he tried for about 10 minutes to get his truck off the tracks, but he walked away to call police when he saw a train approaching. Police said CSX did not have enough time to stop the train.
“The crossing at Main Street is so high that if trucks don’t cross it fast enough, they can get stuck,” Sgt. Jackie Rhodes said at the time.
Police reported in September the Mercedes did not clear the tracks in time to avoid being hit, but it is unclear if the car was stuck.
A month ago, the Biloxi City Council announced the city is planning on closing six of its 22 crossings, all of which are in East Biloxi.
The closings are part of an agreement the city made with CSX in order to get two new crossings — one at the Popp’s Ferry extension that will connect to U.S. 90, and one on Pine Street where the city proposes completing the East Biloxi loop.
Mary Perez, Justin Mitchell and Wesley Muller contributed to this story.