(Chattanooga, Tennessee – December 3, 2011)
An unidentified female motorist, following traffic across the Norfolk Southern railroad crossing of Jersey Pike in Chattanooga, TN Saturday afternoon became trapped on the tracks by lowered gates and traffic in front of and behind her vehicle as a second train approached.
The driver said that the first train passed and the crossing gate raised to allow street traffic to proceed. She was the third car to begin crossing the tracks when the gates once again lowered with her car on the tracks and no way to escape, as she could neither go forward nor back up.
Panicking, the woman abandoned her car, which subsequently was struck by the oncoming train.
Chattanooga Police were investigating the accident to determine how or if the crossing gate malfunctioned. The crossing has been the site of seven previous accidents resulting in four fatalities.