(Kingston, Georgia – February 26, 2020)
A 17-year-old Adairsville, GA teen died early Wednesday morning just before 8:00 AM, EST when the truck was struck on the passenger side by a CSX freight train. The collision occurred at a private, dangerous and unguarded crossing near Kingston, GA.
Justin Garland was pronounced dead at the scene by Bartow County Coroner Joel Guyton after the tragic collision.
Bartow County Coroner Joel Guyton pointed out to news media that the crash, which occurred at a crossing that was equipped with neither flashing lights nor crossing gates, happened in an area where “It was very foggy.”
The lack of adequate warning devices was likely a contributing cause of this collision. According to railroad submitted records, 19 daily CSX freight trains cross the private crossing at a maximum speed of 60 mph. It is virtually certain that lights and gates could have prevented this collision. CSX and Operation Lifesaver know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train collisions by as much as 96%.
The train’s locomotive engineer reportedly sounded his engine’s horn once he realized a collision was certain, but it was obviously not sounded in advance or sufficient time to provide Garland notice of the oncoming train.
The location of the crash was just off Hall Station Road and was the fourth accident to occur at any private crossing in Kingston since records have been kept by the Federal Railroad Administration.