Child killed near Christmas Tree Lane, struck by train, sheds light on dangerous railroad crossing

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The opening night of Christmas Tree Lane ended in tragedy Tuesday after a little boy was killed when an Amtrak train collided with a minivan as they were waiting in line to see the lights. 

It happened after 5 p.m. on Shields and Maroa avenue.

Investigators say the Amtrak train has passengers on board but none were hurt. 

Inside the minivan, police say, was a family including the little boy’s mother. Two others inside suffered minor injuries and are expected to recover.

“Unfortunately, as a result of the impact of the train colliding with the vehicle, a small child was ultimately killed,” said Lt. Andre Benson.

It’s unclear if there were crossing guards and the condition of traffic at the time but Lt. Benson says the family in the minivan saw the train coming and were unable to get off the tracks.

The tragedy hit close to home for Madison Stubbs and her fiancé Chris. Last year, as they waited in line for Christmas Tree Lane, they say they were hit by a train in the same intersection as they were safely crossing the railroad once space in front allowed.

“In the process of driving over them I kind of glanced to my right and saw the big light, I yelled at him to go, he stepped on it and we went and it caught the back of our car,” said Madison.

In the backseat was their 7-month-old baby boy in a car seat, who was not hurt during the collision – only their trunk was damaged. 

Madison and Chris say there were no lights, no sounds, and no crossing guards when she was in the accident so she didn’t know the train was coming. They hope by raising awareness of the what they describe as a dangerous intersection, something will change to prevent further accidents. 

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