RINGGOLD, Georgia (WDEF) – According to the Federal Railroad Administration, more than 440 people died last year alone trying to beat a train before it crosses the tracks, and what happened on Julian Street earlier today was no different.
The identity of the victim hit by a train earlier this evening is still unknown, but Georgia State Patrol has confirmed it was in fact an elderly man who lost his life on those train tracks.
“You go against a train, you’re going to lose,” says Jeff England a neighbor who lives in the area of Tuesday’s accident.
Georgia State Patrol says a 63-year-old man lost his life Tuesday afternoon in the Ringgold area, when he tried to cross a pair of train tracks, despite the flashing red lights warning drivers an engine was coming.
“If you go around those tracks–those arms for the tracks, you’re putting your life at risk and that’s exactly what happened here,” says England.
According to State Patrol, the man was waiting behind a long line of cars turning on Graysville Road, when he decided to go around the line, then pass the stop sign, flashing lights, and crossing arms to try and beat the train, but he didn’t make it in time.
Jeff England has lived across the street from the tracks, on Julian Road, for more than 30 years now, and says he’s seen so many train versus car accidents he’s lost count.
“There’s just been so many accidents because people don’t pay attention to the arms going across the tracks. You know if the arms go across the tracks there means there’s a train coming or more than likely there’s going to be a train coming very soon,” he says.
England also says some of the responsibility is on the railroad company as well.
“As much money as CSX has, they could afford better equipment to protect people from going around those arms. Those arms should go all the way across the crossing, and not just halfway on each side,” he continued.
The train pushed the man’s car more than 1,400 feet before coming to a stop. Officials say he was the only person in the car at the time of the crash, and no other injuries were reported.
“Just pay attention to your surroundings, you know stop at stop signs, you know stop at the red lights when you come to red lights, and stuff like that, because they’re there for a purpose. They’re meant to save your life,” England says.