Union Pacific to close 2 railroad crossings after 11-week-old died when paramedics delayed by train

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Friday, October 6, 2023
Railroad crossing to close after playing role in infant's death
Union Pacific is set to close two railroad crossings in Polk County after the tragic death of 11-week-old K'Twon Franklin in Legget, Texas, in 2021.

POLK COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Two years after the death of a baby, along with numerous safety complaints from neighbors, two Union Pacific railroad crossings are closing in Polk County.

One of the crossings is on Glover Road in Legget, Texas - where paramedics were unable to reach 11-week-old K'Twon Franklin in 2021 when his mother said he stopped breathing.

The family called 911, but paramedics couldn't get to their home because a train was blocking the intersection.

"They said, 'Well, they're trying to get to you. There's a train on the track,'" mom Monica Franklin told ABC13 in 2021.

Surveillance video captured the heartbreaking events. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, paramedics crawled in between the train cars to get to K'Twon. Video shows they then carried him to the tracks to cross back over to where the ambulance was parked.

"That's when the train started again," Franklin recalled. "So, me and the paramedic ended up doing CPR right there on the train track."

More than 30 minutes passed between that initial 911 call and when K'Twon was finally loaded into an ambulance. He died at the hospital two days later.

READ MORE: Rural Polk County town reignites effort to push Union Pacific to act after baby's life lost

K'Twon Franklin was just 11 weeks old before his life was cut short due in part to an issue that has lingered in a rural Texas town.

At the time, Union Pacific said it would look into what happened and expressed sympathy to K'Twon's family.

Two years later, Polk County commissioners approved a plan with UP and TxDOT to close the two crossings and build a new road around the tracks to prevent similar situations.

"Union Pacific believes the closure of the crossings and the construction of a new road connection will improve traffic fluidity in the neighborhood, and limit times when trains are occupying a crossing," the transport company said in a statement, in part.

The crossings won't be closed until that plan is finalized, though the judge didn't have a timeline but said it should happen soon.

SEE ALSO: Union Pacific addresses ongoing safety issue of stopped trains blocking roads in Houston area

Houston area residents have voiced concerns for years about stopped trains blocking major roads. Representatives with Union Pacific Railroad met with Houston City Council to see what can be done to address the problem.