Las Cruces residents damaging their vehicles on railroad crossings

Las Cruces News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Las Cruces residents are complaining on social media about several railroad crossings that they claim have been causing damage to their vehicles since repairs were completed by a contractor.

Mardell Esparza went to pick up her daughter off Amador Road, where she crossed the railway. She said she felt her car go over a large bump, but she proceeded driving.

While going back home that same day, she passed the railway crossing off Hoagland, going across another bump.

The next day she woke up to a flat tire. After taking her car to the mechanic shop, she was informed that she had cracked her rim.

“They told me that there were actually two cracks in it and it had to have been from severe impact going between 20 to 30 miles per hour to cause that type of damage to the rim,” said Esparza.

Her rim has been temporarily welded, but she will get a new one within the next six month, which will cost her more than $1,000.

Dana Thurman, Alert Muffler and Brake Service owner, said he is currently working on a car with the same issue: damaged after crossing one of the railways.

“I assumed the vehicle was going to be just a rim or something like that — it ended up being more expensive than what it normally is,” said Thurman.

He said his customer damaged her front suspension, which will cost $1,000 to fix.

More customers have complained to him about the condition of the crossings, saying more signs should be put up.

One such sign was put up off Taylor Road, but Thurman said, it is not visible enough at night and with the speed limit being 35 miles per hour, it can cause damage to your vehicle.

The railway is being repaired by a contractor BNSF Railways. They said they have been working on crossings off Amador, Hoagland and Taylor Road.

BNSF said the county has requested a sign for Taylor Road crossing, which is now in place.

The City of Las Cruces says this was not their project, but they have been getting complaints, which they direct back to BNSF Railways.

“If any residents believe their vehicle sustained damage as a result of a crossing, they may file a claim,” stated an email that KTSM 9 News received from the company.

To file a claim, you can send an email to GenClaimsHotline@bnsf.com or leave a voicemail a5 817-352-2200.

However, another mechanic shop, Tire Store and More, off Thorpe Road said it has seen people going airborne when crossing the tracks, before and after the repairs.

“A lot of people will have to stop in front of our shop here to pick up metal that came out of their trailers,” said Jesse James, partner and manager of the Tire Store and More.

Las Cruces resident have been complaining on social media about more crossings damaging their cars, with no warning signs about the hazard.

“At least put some flashing lights there,” said Thurman.

James advises drivers to slow down and pay attention to your surroundings to prevent such damages.

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