MYRTLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Hearing a train's horn is fairly common for those who live or work in Myrtle, but not everybody stops for it.
Former Myrtle teacher Hugh Foster said most would be surprised how many people cross the tracks regardless of the warning signs.
"I've seen this [disregard] happen on many occasions," Foster said. "They think they have enough time to make it across the track."
"When you get up to the tracks, you don't hear these trains if you've got windows up and the radio on, and a lot of people just go straight across the railroad tracks without even looking," resident Diane Hefner said.
Safety of these crossings is fresh on many residents' minds because of what happened to 18-year-old Benjamin Paiste Tuesday morning. The Myrtle High School senior got hit by a train on his way to school.
None of the three crossings in Myrtle has guard rails or any other protection other than the audible bells and red flashing lights.
Many residents say that's part of the problem.
"We really need [crossing] arms to come down for safety reasons," Foster said.
Myrtle Mayor Joe Rials says it's not that simple.
"Being a small town, we just do not have the financial resources to undertake something like that," Rials said.
That's why many small towns don't have crossing arms.
Still, Tuesday's accident struck a little too close to home for high school senior Kayla Turner.
"I cross the train track every day coming into Myrtle, and there's no lights, no nothing where I have to cross," Turner said. "It could have happened to anybody, but the thing is, you never know."
Since Tuesday's accident, Paiste's condition has been upgraded from critical to fair condition.
Law enforcement says it still doesn't know what could have caused the student to cross the tracks.