About Utah: Bus crash in 1938 led to train laws

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  • wmcot Murray, UT
    April 15, 2016 11:50 p.m.

    I have lived in Utah since 1971 and I had never heard of this until today while driving down Redwood Rd in South Jordan. I happened to glance at a brown and white sign (the kind that indicate parks, etc.) that said something like, "1938 Bus Accident Marker." Having no clue what that was all about, I decided to search for it when I returned home. I was immediately led to this article. I really appreciate the author providing so much detail on this little know, but tragic story. Thanks for publishing it!

  • Hampton Stewart
    Dec. 20, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    Bus/train crash south of Salinas California in 1963 killed 28 at scene. 4 more died over the next few days as a result of the accident. Bus was crossing the track when hit by train traveling 70+ mph.

  • Teri
    Nov. 26, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    My grandfather, Mack Bateman, was one of the survivors of the accident. He was 16 years old and performed CPR on numerous children. My grandfather just passed on November 22nd and told this story many times to the family.

  • Lauren
    Nov. 10, 2009 12:43 p.m.

    My grandma's brother had to go and pick up all the body parts of the people who died. And the bus driver was my grandma's best friends brother, and now sister in law to my grandma. My family is very grateful for the law.

  • Greg
    Oct. 22, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    This law applies not only to buses but to all common carriers (taxis, limos, chartered buses, etc.) and any truck carrying any hazardous substance. But have you ever seen them all stop? Probably only at ungated railroad crossings. The law makes sense at ungated railroad crossings which was probably the case at the crossing in the story, but it needs to be updated for crossings that have active gates with lights and warning bells. The technology employed at a gated crossing makes it much safer today than even a street intersection with a traffic signal. When a train approaches the gates go down. If the power goes out the gates are switched to battery backup for 8 hours and then if no power is restored then they go down and stay down. You can't say that about traffic signals where people are always running them and getting killed. And when the power goes out the traffic lights don't work at all.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 21, 2009 2:13 p.m.

    Some people wonder why we have so many rules, but there is always a reason. Too many have had to be written because somebody lost their life.

  • Jan
    Oct. 21, 2009 12:43 p.m.

    My dad took over that bus route following the accident. Even though I wasn't born until 13 years later, that accident was something that we always knew about. Thanks for more information.

  • Jeff
    Oct. 21, 2009 9:26 a.m.

    Great article, Thanks! I always wondered why a school bus driver opened the door at railroad crossings.

  • Prime example
    Oct. 21, 2009 4:52 a.m.

    Interesting story and the creation of laws and the reason for them. This kind of report could be an interesting news column to research and explain why we have certain laws and maybe even come up with reasons to abolish some laws that are no longer viable.

    Most people don't understand why we have some laws or even read any of the laws we have. Laws are full of fine print that can only be understood by reading it.

    Almost every law has an intent of the law and the reason for it in the descriptions to it. This part of the law is often overlooked in enforcement but is the most crucial part of the law.

    As in this case of the bus/train law it takes an older generation to define and explain it to the new generations.