"It was because of the train," Chris Addison, a Blanchard resident, said, " they probably could have helped her , but the train." Addison can't believe his mother, 51 year old Jymme Dru Davis, is gone. He says what's even harder to believe is that her death might have been prevented had Blanchard emergency crews gotten to her in time. "They were trying to help her but it took 18 minutes, they had to wait for the train," Addison said. By the time crews arrived at Davis' home, she was already in cardiac arrest and later died.
"It's frustrating when you're having to wait on a train 8 or 10 minutes to get help where it's needed," Caddo Fire District 1 Chief Dan Cotten, said. As KCS expands, train traffic through Blanchard could increase by 30 percent. That's why Caddo Commissioner Jim Morris is asking Louisiana and the federal government to fund a $3.6 million underpass. "It'll give a means by which to bypass these 2 intersections and actually go under the tracks instead of waiting on the train to cross," Morris said.
However, that project is being considered under the state's 2008 budget and could be years away from completion. Until something changes, Addison says it's just a matter of time before another Blanchard resident dies like his mother did. Cotten says the Caddo Fire District is working to open a fire station on LA 169 to help alleviate the problem. However, that project is still in the planning phases.