(St. Augustine, Florida – April 3, 2019)
Two local women were killed by a freight train as they crossed Florida East Coast railroad tracks near, but not at, Lewis Speedway in St. Augustine, FL Wednesday evening about 6:30 PM, EDT.
One woman, Christine Griggs, 46, was clear of the train, but went back to assist her companion, Jacqueline McCleary, 55, who had stumbled and fallen as she tried to walk across the rough limestone ballast along the railroad tracks. Both women were subsequently struck by the FEC train. The train was one of a daily average of 26 FEC trains which rapidly roll through the urban corridor at speeds up to 60 mph.
The place where the women were attempting to cross was neither fenced to prevent public access nor at a public or private rail crossing.
The death of Griggs, the mother of four, was sadly lamented by her boy friend of seven years, Robert Danford, who went to the site of the tragedy and talked with Jacksonville Action News TV reporters. “I know in my heart that she was just doing her best to save and help somebody that needed her help,” he told Beth Rousseau of WOKV-TV.