(Reynolds, Georgia – July 5, 2019)
A non-signaled railroad-highway crossing was the site of a tragic collision Friday when a Norfolk Southern freight train struck and dragged a vehicle with a grandfather and 11-year-old grandson inside. The car was struck at the crossing of Crest Hill Road and Norfolk Southern rails Friday about 4:30 PM, EDT.
Neither of the victims were identified by police. The young survivor was airlifted to The Medical Center-Navicent Health in Macon, GA for treatment of his crash caused condition.
Reynolds Mayor Butch Turner told WMAZ-TV Channel 13 News that “the train pushed the car (with the victims still inside) about a half-mile.”
Instead of erecting automatic flashing lights and gates, which can prevent over 90% of crossing collisions, the local authorities were allegedly using local law enforcement personnel to monitor vehicle traffic and the drivers’ adherence to the passive stop and railway cross-buck signs. Now, a loving grandfather is dead and his grandson fights for life in a hospital emergency ward.
Reynolds Chief of Police Lonnie Holder told Channel 13 News that they “regularly issue citations (to motor vehicle drivers) at the crossing on Crest Hill Street and it was the first time they’ve had an accident.”
On a daily average basis, a half dozen NS trains cross there at maximum allowable speeds 49 MPH. On school days, there are three school bus movements across the now-deadly crossing.