(Waverly, Tennessee – March 20, 2015)
A winner of the Mrs. Tennessee Pageant in 1983, and current executive director of the United Way of Humphreys and Benton Counties was killed at about 12:45 P.M. Friday afternoon when the Ford Explorer SUV she was driving was struck and destroyed by a CSX freight train at the dangerous and unguarded private rural railroad crossing of Consoler Road and CSX railroad tracks near Waverly, TN.
Susan King Goodman was killed instantly when the train, powered by two locomotives and hauling 31 freight cars between Memphis, TN and Savannah, GA, hit her vehicle. The train was one of a daily average of 13 trains which cross there at speeds as high as 50 mph.
The crossing was not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both CSX and Operation Lifesaver 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%.
Mrs. Goodman was a well-known community leader and the tragic accident left the two-county region mourning her death. Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis, who had known the victim as a friend for a number of years called her death “a great loss for the county.”