(Barbourville, Kentucky – January 31, 2012)
An 83-year-old local resident who worked more than 40 years for the railroad, Delmer Bright, was killed at the crossing of Cumberland Avenue and CSX railroad tracks when a lone CSX locomotive struck his Chevy Blazer as he attempted to cross the tracks before witnesses say the crossing gates came down about noon Tuesday in Barbourville, KY.
“The arms actually started coming down as he was crossing the tracks,” said Tonya Liford, adding that “He didn’t have an opportunity to get out of the way before the impact.”
Noting that the locomotive spun the victim’s car around and deposited it about a car-and-a-half length from where she was, Liford said she had to enter the smashed car to attempt to care for Bright from the hatchback since both doors had been smashed in the crash.
“He was unresponsive,” recalled Liford. “I just kept talking to him to see if I could get a reaction from him until EMS arrived.”
When asked what she saw, Liford said that “It was just a really sad situation you know and you know you could tell he wasn’t trying to beat the train or outrun the train, he was just driving along and got stuck in between there.”
The fatality was the second at the Cumberland Avenue crossing. CSX and Barbourville Police continue to investigate the tragedy.