Fatal DART Train Accident Highlights Richardson Parents’ Fears

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RICHARDSON -- A fatal accident at a DART station has parents more concerned than ever about student safety at a proposed new school.

We don't know much about the incident, except that a pedestrian was struck by a DART train and killed instantly.

Nearby though, at Walnut Hill and White Rock Trail, Richardson ISD is prepping to demolish an office complex to make room for a new elementary school.  It's a project that faces opposition from area parents, like Rahul Yodh.

"We don't think this is a good site for a school for a number of reasons," said Yodh, citing limited acreage, and accessibility from only one road. "There's only gonna be one way in, one way out.  We do want a school built, but just not here."

Another concern for parents is safety, since the complex - and soon, the campus - backs up to DART's train tracks.

"There is a concern of kids perhaps taking a shortcut across the tracks and up the DART ramp," Yodh told NewsFix.

And accidents like the one this morning only heighten those fears.

Said Yodh: "It's a very delicate situation with the fatality that happened this morning, but I do think that's a good opportunity for the community to realize that DART tracks are dangerous and it is a real concern for this site."

A rep from Richardson ISD told NewsFix in a statement that the location of the accident is "completely dissimilar" to that of the school site.

He says the school would be separated from the tracks by fences and trees, with "no access points at all," and that "RISD believes the school site is in a very safe location related to the DART tracks."

It seems safety concerns won't be enough to derail the district's plans, but accidents like this should remind all of us to look both ways, and to be safe out there, y'all.

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