BILOXI, MS (WKRG) – The road that runs along the railroad tracks in Biloxi is named after the city’s first African-American Councilman–who also lost his life right here.
“This street is named after Michael Esters, a city councilman who was killed in the 80’s when I was a kid right here at the same very track, this is Esters Boulevard and it’s named after him because he was killed on the train tracks,” said John Kemp, who lives nearby.
Before Tuesday’s disaster, there have been 16 accidents at this intersection including two fatalities since 1976. People nearby want changes.
“Well it’s too steep, it’s too steep,” said Bradley Raye. It’s a problem people say has been brewing for years.
“We’ve always said that one day somebody’s not going to have enough time to get off the tracks and that’s exactly what happened,” said John Kemp. City officials say this is what they call a protected intersection.
“That means it has the bells it has the whistles it has the flashing lights, it has the crossbars that block traffic,” said Vincent Creel with the City of Biloxi. City officials also pointing out this intersection has ample signage warning drivers of low ground clearance and the hill is so high that some drivers bottom out on it anyway. Homeowners say the same high railroad intersection can be found all along the tracks in Biloxi. Recently a delivery truck was stuck at the same intersection but the driver escaped before the collision.