Teens’ deaths prompt railroad crossing closure in Eaton

EATON, Colo. -- A small community has won its fight to shut down a railroad crossing.

Two teenagers have been killed at the crossing at Fifth Street and Highway 85 in Eaton in the past year. The crossing was closed over the weekend.

Jacob Mondragon and his grandfather are relieved.

“There should have been something done here a long time ago and this is pretty dangerous crossing," Mondragon said.

Mondragon’s 16-year-old brother, Dallas Duran, was killed at the crossing last year.

Eaton High School student Kennedi Jane Ingram, 18, was killed on Tuesday when the SUV she was in was hit by a train.

Trains can legally travel as fast as 60 mph through the town.

They roar by, said Mondragon, who has built a memorial for his grandson, a place he visits everyday.

“If you ask me I don’t think (Duran) saw the train because his cellphone was dead," said Adolph Mondragon, Duran's grandfather.

A few other crossings in this the community of 5,000 already have warning gates and signals.

The crossing at Highway 85 and Fifth Street does not have any gates. There is a stop sign and a crossing sign to alert drivers.

After a meeting over the weekend, residents asked for cross warning devices.

Mayor Kevin Ross went a step further and shut down the crossing.

Adolph Mondragon said he felt “relief.”

“I was happy as everybody was in the meeting," he said. "Everybody stood up in a standing ovation. And they said 'Why Monday. Why not today?'”

Signs went up overnight.

“Even after these two tragic events, people were still running this stop sign and I couldn’t let that continue to go on and risk someone else losing their life at this intersection," Ross said.

For the Mondragons, it is too late. They speak out now in Duran's memory, hoping no one is ever killed at the crossing again.

Ross expects crossing arms to be set up within the next eight months.

For the people of Eaton, they can’t come soon enough.