(Monroe County, Tennessee – December 9, 2011)
A man and his wife, just leaving home and approaching the private, dangerous, unguarded crossing leading to Tennessee Highway 11 near Sweetwater, TN in Monroe County, were injured about 1:30 P.M. Friday afternoon when a Norfolk Southern coal train struck the front of their automobile as it slid onto NS tracks as the driver attempted to stop.
Peter Rintell, 66, the driver, and his wife, Linda Rintell, 63, escaped more serious injury when they exited their car before the train struck it a second time, casting it 30 feet from the crossing.
The crossing is protected only with a standard “stop” sign and a small, rectangular sign identifying it as a private crossing. The crossing has no lights, bells, gates or any form of automatic, train-activated crossing protective devices to warn of the approach of trains.
The couple was taken to Fort Louden Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.