(El Dorado, Georgia – February 23, 2018)
The 41-year-old driver of a Chevrolet pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene after his vehicle was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train at an unguarded private crossing near El Dorado in Tift County, GA about 2:00 P.M., EST Friday.
Derrick Pettiford doubtfully was ever aware of the oncoming train, one of a daily average of 25 NS trains that cross the road/rail intersection at a maximum allowable speed of 60 mph. The crossing, which is equipped only with railroad crossbuck signs, lacks the potentially lifesaving flashing lights and crossing gates which would have alerted the victim a train was approaching. 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 accidents by as much as 96%.
When asked by WALB, Channel 10 News in Albany, GA about the tragedy, “A Norfolk Southern Railway spokesperson could not give details about the crash for legal reasons.”