(Effingham, South Carolina – July 8, 2012)
A 32-year-old mother died and her husband was injured Sunday afternoon when the couple was riding an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) on Smallwood Road near their residence just north of Effingham, SC and was hit by a CSX freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Smallwood Road and CSX railroad tracks.
Tanya Clemons was a passenger on the ATV being driven by her husband as they approached the crossing, which is not equipped with any automatic protection such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates, and did not see or hear the train approaching. The husband swerved at the last minute, but the ATV flipped, throwing the victim and the vehicle in front of the train and her husband away from the tracks.
The crossing, which is crossed by a dozen trains daily at a top speed of 60 mph, utilizes only standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs to “protect” the motoring public from collisions with trains.
Florence County Deputy Coroner Don Reynolds pronounced the victim dead at the scene as Florence County Sheriff’s Captain Mike Nunn was coordinating the investigation into the tragic accident.