Henrico man killed driving across train tracks

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The Henrico man killed at a Richmond train crossing Sunday drove around the railroad crossing arms, according to Richmond Police.

Clayon G. Roper, Jr., 24, of Beth Road, was killed when a train struck his Ford Taurus on Broad Rock Boulevard, near Belt Boulevard, in South Richmond.

"As a train approached, the railroad’s warning system activated its flashing red lights and warning arm. The driver continued to cross the railroad tracks when the vehicle was struck on its left side by an oncoming, southbound Amtrak train," a Richmond Police spokesperson said. "Investigators with the Richmond Police Crash Team responded to the scene, where they interviewed witnesses and took measurements. The crash remains under investigation."

The crash happened at 6:43 p.m. Sunday.

There have been at least 15 incidents at the railroad crossing over Broad Broad Rock Boulevard since 1983, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration.  Sunday's crash marks the third since 2011, according to FRA data.  The majority of the incidents were caused by stalled vehicles or drivers ignoring warning systems, the reports show.

Passengers remained on the train while crews worked the scene. The train eventually moved down the track just before 11 p.m. Another Amtrak train, which was stuck behind the impacted train, was spotted crossing at 11:10 p.m.

Ryan Powers opened Ace Automotive Services several months ago, and his business sits only feet away from the railroad crossing on Broad Rock Boulevard.  Powers said trains roll past nearly on the hour, and they are so loud it makes it difficult to hear normal conversation.

"I don't know how it could happen to anyone. It's just a sad thing that it did," Powers said.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can email news tips and photos here.