Turning tragedy into change

June 14, 2009 4:36:57 AM PDT
A family is making a push for change after four teenagers were killed when their car slammed into a parked train. Sunday is the two-year anniversary of the crash where a 15-year-old boy went joyriding in a stolen SUV full of other kids. Then, they hit a train stopped at a crossing on Archer near Flemeing in east Harris County near Baytown.

Family members of some of the victims have new hope for a plan that could save others.

Two years after the deadly crash, things at the intersection have changed. A new crossing arm replaced the old sign that was there and better lighting, but for Donald Moyers, who's grandfather to two of the victims, nothing can replace the pain in his heart.

"We can't go on like this," said Moyers. "There's too much at stake."

It was a dark summer morning when the SUV packed with kids smashed into a train parked at the crossing. Loral and Macy Moyers were just two of four teens killed in that wreck. Two years after the crash, the driver, Bobby Davis, is serving time for the accident.

Moyers is on a mission for train safety.

"Any movement that I may start is not to hurt the railroad companies, but to help them," said Moyers.

Moyers wants to make trains more visible at night, proposing replacing current yellow markings on railcars with red ones signifying what he believes would be a clearer stop.

"It should be horizontal," he said. "It should be the length of the of every single car on both sides."

He also wants railroad companies to require these markings before any railcar is allowed on the tracks. It's a goal he hopes prevents other people from experiencing his same kind of pain.

"It's an everlasting thing," he said. "It's nothing to expect to get over. You will carry it for the rest of your life."

Union Pacific, which oversees the rail lines, says the Federal Railroad Administration sets guidelines for the markings and that each car meets those guidelines. They also say their thoughts and prayers are with the families of those four teens.

Davis is serving eight years in prison for the crash. He had pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter. Right now, he's in a juvenile facility. When he becomes an adult, he'll be sent to prison or go on parole.

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