(St. George, South Carolina — January 6, 2013)
An off-duty Grover, SC Fire Dept. firefighter died late Sunday afternoon at about 5:00 P.M. when he attempted to cross the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Ann Street in St. George, SC in his pickup truck as a Norfolk Southern train, consisting only of a locomotive and a caboose, approached the NS/Ann St. intersection.
St. George Police Chief Anthony Britt identified the deceased as a member of the Grover Fire Dept., but could not release his name pending notification of next-of-kin. Britt said the vehicle, which was heavily damaged, was dragged 100 yards down the track with the driver still inside following the impact with the train. An official with the Dorchester County Coroner’s Office pronounced the man dead at the scene.
St. George Police and South Carolina State Patrol troopers confirmed that the Ann Street/NS RY crossing had neither flashing lights, bells or crossing gates, relying instead upon a number of passive railroad crossing and highway signs for “protection” of the driving public from the average of 10 NS freight trains which traverse the crossing daily at top allowable speeds of 49 mph.