(Saraland, Alabama – July 9, 2011)
After over 3 ½ months of rehabilitation, the sole survivor of a collision at a Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing that had lights and crossbucks, but lacked crossing gates, returned home Saturday to a massive celebration at her church in Saraland, AL.
Sonnie Hicks, 20, of Satsuma, AL, was riding with her boy friend, 22-year-old Cameron Thompson, about 6:22 P.M. March 22, when his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was struck on the passenger’s side by a Norfolk Southern freight train consisting of two locomotives and 61 cars at the East Bayou Avenue crossing of NS tracks.
After suffering in a hospital for a week, Thompson died of his massive injuries. Sonnie, however, was sent to a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta, GA, after her hospital stabilization and injury treatment in Alabama for a tragedy of which she has no memory. The celebration of her recovery drew hundreds of friends and family members to Saturday’s homecoming at North Mobile Baptist Church.
Pastor Ed Litton said Sonnie’s recovery is a testament to prayer and faith, while Mike Hicks, her father, said “You just can’t say how wonderful, how grateful we are and she’s a walking miracle and we give God the glory!”