(Jesup, Georgia – June 9, 2017)
A Georgia semi-trailer log hauler driver tragically lost his life in a collision last Friday at about 1:10 P.M., EDT. The driver’s truck collided with a southbound Norfolk Southern freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of NS track and Morning Glory Circle near Jesup, GA.
James Randall Walker, 62, of Townsend, GA was pronounced dead upon arrival at Memorial Health trauma center in Savannah, GA. According to the police Mr. Walker turned off of U.S. Highway 341, which closely parallels the NS corridor, and onto Morning Glory Circle where the train struck his vehicle. The Norfolk Southern train struck his vehicle at approximately 47 mph.
The crossing where the collision occurred accommodates an average of nine rail movements which cross at maximum speeds of 49 mph. Yet, no flashing lights or crossing gates were there to warn and halt vehicular traffic from crossing paths with those trains. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was protected by active warning devices, this collision would not have occurred. Both Norfolk Southern and Operation Lifesaver all 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 accidents by as much as 96%.
A previous accident at the road/rail intersection a few years ago resulted only in property damage to another semi-trailer truck and, miraculously, no injury to its driver.