(Hazlehurst, Mississippi – January 25, 2013)
A 49-year-old local resident died Friday afternoon when his silver Mercedes was struck by Amtrak’s “City of New Orleans” passenger train on its way to Chicago, IL as it slowed to make a station stop at the Hazlehurst, MS station, and collided with the victim’s car at the non-gated crossing of Canadian National railroad tracks and Frost Street.
Tommy Jackson was crossing the CN tracks at 4:27 P.M. at the crossing which, although it has flashing lights, has no crossing gates to prevent collisions such as occurred Friday. Even though the train was not traveling at its authorized 79 mph, it still dragged the victim’s vehicle a half mile, impaled upon the locomotive’s snow plow, before came to a halt near the depot. The train had 63 passengers on board, none of whom were injured in the tragedy.
The accident was the sixth collision and first fatality suffered at the CN/Frost Street crossing. The five previous accidents had resulted in a total of three non-fatal injuries. A dozen CN freight and Amtrak passenger trains operate through Hazlehurst daily.