Two Major Train and Truck Wrecks Along Tennessee Georgia Line Within 24 Hours

Reported by: James Mahon
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Updated: 4/03/2014 6:47 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN, (WDEF)-A 90 car coal train destroyed this 18 wheeler off Wauhatchie Pike Thursday morning.
    Even though it's the second train and truck collision along the Georgia  Tennessee line in recent days, residents are not shocked.

Janet Craft, Highway 11 Resident, "I'm not surprised  that it don't happen two or three times a week, i have been here 8 years my cousin has lived here for 45 years, we see it daily people, are trying to beat the train, the speed limit is 45 but there is no sign there no longer"

The driver of the Koch's tractor-trailer escaped with minor scratches and bruising.

However Wednesday afternoon, 80 year Alvin Wount's pickup truck was struck by a different Norfolk Southern train by Carroll Rd but died from his injuries.

local elected officials say no one else should have to die in order for railroad crossings to be improved in Georgia and Tennessee.

Ted Rumley, Dade County Board of Commissioners, "Cost of a crossing is about 200,000, 220,000 dollars, they are quite expensive, hopefully we can work something with the Department of Transportation, they are directly involved and Norfolk Southern, hopefully we can get some caution lights or some kind of signal up there"

Rumley is a family friend of the Wount's and says their community is shocked over Wednesday's death.

"I called her back and still didn't know that was her father  and then she realized that was his pickup truck, she was only a quarter of a mile from it, she didn't realize there had even been an accident"

Operation Lifesaver Tennessee say improved railroad crossings will help but drivers should never take risks with rail lines.

Jill Moody,"Always expect a train they can come from either direction, day or night, freight trains do not run on a schedule so we have to make sure we are watching out for them"

The rail crossing at Wauhatchie Pike where the 18 wheeler was struck  is equipped with flashing warning lights.

Norfolk Southern ask that residents who live near rail lines know that it takes up to 18 football fields in distance before a freight train can make a complete stop.

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