Around 5pm Sunday night on Dean Forest Road, near Highway 21, police say 49-year-old Charles Allen drove his truck right in front of a 20-car cargo train. He was flown by LifeStar helicopter to Memorial Health. No one on the train was hurt.
Police are still trying to determine who was at fault. "The arms are up on the crossing," observed Sgt. Wayne Daniels with the Garden City Police Department. "I don't know why they're up. Normally, they're down even if the train's here. I can't explain why the arms are up in the up position at this time."
Chatham County police say they also don't know if the lights at the crossing were working. "At this point, it hasn't been determined conclusively whether or not the emergency indicators at the railroad crossing were operable or inoperable," says Sgt. Mike Wilson. "I have been assured by CSX officials that they do have the means and capability of determining whether or not the crossing rails were up or down."
Investigators are now hoping they'll be able to retrieve that information. One of the control boxes at the crossing was damaged in the accident. When Allen's truck was hit, it smashed into the box, knocking part of it to the ground. CSX officials will have to determine if any information can be salvaged from it.