KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — A Kernersville man is on a mission to save lives by changing a state law he says puts people in danger.
The law in question is one that allows private businesses to choose whether they want to put automated warning devices at railroad crossings that cut through their properties.
R’mone Clark says he believes this law is one of the reasons his father is not alive today. In August of 2019, R’mone’s father, Mikeral Leon Clark, was killed by a train while trying to make a delivery for Omnisource scrap metal.
He was trying to make a turn and did not see or hear the train coming. It hit the back end of the tractor-trailer he was driving, causing his gas tanks to explode. The truck was engulfed in flames.
“My father died by fire, and that ignited a fire in me, and my family to push for change,” Clark said.
For the last three years, R’mone has been working to make sure what happened to his father never happens again. Mikeral was the first fatality at the intersection but not the first accident.
There have been at least three other non-fatal accidents in this area.
Not much has changed at the intersection since Mikeral’s passing. There is now a sign that reminds drivers to look both ways before crossing the tracks.
By law, Omnisource is not required to make any additional changes. R’mone wants to change that.
“That’s why we’re here today. So that no one else’s family has to experience what we’ve experienced,” Clark said. “There shouldn’t be a fifth accident, second fatality here at this intersection.”
Installing automated warning devices comes with a hefty price tag. According to an NCDOT engineer, it could cost between $300,000 and $1 million to put in lights and a gate plus up to $2,500 per year for maintenance.
But after the death of his father, R’mone says there’s no price tag you can put on human life.
“We can’t give up until this is done until this is fixed and corrected,” Clark said.
FOX8 reached out to Omnisource for comment. We did not hear back.