Patrol: Stay away from train tracks

Monday, June 11, 2012
Union Pacific Railroad Special Agent Steve Ray looks for debris along a rail line just north of Poplar Bluff, Mo., Tuesday, June 5, 2012, after two teenagers were killed and another was injured when their vehicle was struck by an Amtrak train just after midnight. (AP Photo/Daily American Republic, Paul Davis)

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a fatal train wreck in southeast Missouri offers a stark warning about dangers around tracks.

Two Poplar Bluff teenagers died and a third was badly hurt when a train struck a Jeep early Tuesday. Butler County Coroner Jim Akers said the teens were playing a game called "Ghost Train," in which a car is parked on the tracks, purportedly awaiting the arrival of a "ghost train" involved in a fatal derailment many years ago. Occupants let the windows fog up. If a train approaches, they drive off.

But Akers said that as the Amtrak train neared the Jeep, the vehicle wouldn't start.

The patrol says 13 people died in Missouri after being hit by trains last year. Eight have already died in 2012.

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