Train cars derail near Burke County line

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 12:58 PM
Last updated 9:44 PM
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A train derailed Tuesday near the Burke County line on Mike Padgett Highway after being hit by a tractor-trailer.

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First responders work after a truck collided with a train, causing it to derail on Mike Padgett Highway near the Burke County line on Tuesday afternoon.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
First responders work after a truck collided with a train, causing it to derail on Mike Padgett Highway near the Burke County line on Tuesday afternoon.

The train was westbound near the county line in McBean around 12:40 p.m. when the northbound tractor-trailer was unable to stop, according to Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Ramone Lamkin. The driver jumped out of the truck’s cab and the semi hit the train on the Burke County side, resulting in more than two dozen cars derailing.

A vehicle that was stopped on the opposite side of the railroad crossing was hit by one of the railroad cars. Police said the impact resulted in the vehicle overturning.

No one was seriously injured in the incident, Lamkin said. The names of those involved have not been released.

Police said it appears that all of the lights and arms were working properly at the crossing. Other tractor-trailers and vehicles were already stopped at the crossing at the time of the crash.

Rick Harris, director of corporate communications at Norfolk Southern, said the train was headed to Savannah from Linwood, N.C., and consisted of two locomotives, 12 loaded cars, 26 empty cars and weighed about 2,404 tons.

“The initial indication is that 19 cars derailed,” Harris said shortly after the crash.

Several hours later at the scene, Lamkin said the count had climbed to about 26 derailed cars.

“Unfortunately there’s going to be some delays,” he said of the clean-up process.

The road is expected to be closed for about 48 hours while crews remove wreckage and repair the rails.

Hazmat crews were also called to the scene, but Lamkin said, no fluids or chemicals were leaking as a result of the crash.

Police estimate detours around the area could take 30 minutes or longer during rush hour.

Richmond County deputies will be detouring traffic through Hephzibah McBean Road. Burke County deputies will be detouring traffic on the Georgia Highway 25 bypass in Waynesboro and through Old Waynesboro Road.

It’s not the first crash at the site.

Sherri Joyner, who lives nearby, said speeding is an issue in the area. From her home she can hear the loud thump every time a big rig speeds over the railroad hump.

Tuesday when she heard the ambulances after a loud boom, she knew something bad had happened.

Harris said about six trains travel through that area daily. Including today’s incident, there have been six truck/train incidents there since 1977 — one in 1977 (with a fatality); one in 1985; two in 2002 (with one fatality) and one in 2003.

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David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 09/17/13 - 01:16 pm
3
0
Engine #9

Hope everybody is okay.

rocklandwriter
52
Points
rocklandwriter 09/17/13 - 01:48 pm
1
0
Prayers all are fine

Seems odd though that at a quick look, this is the 3rd (that I can see) train derailment in that same area since 2010.... maybe more that I do not know of... perhaps we need to address that issue more strongly? I do pray that no one is injured and for God's blessings to be with all.

Dixieman
14425
Points
Dixieman 09/17/13 - 02:38 pm
2
0
I saw this at the movies

"the northbound tractor-trailer was unable to stop, according to Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Ramone Lamkin. The driver jumped out of the truck’s cab and the semi hit the train, causing several cars to derail."

I cannot believe this happened in real life! Sounds like the kind of thing stuntmen do in Hollywood action movies.

rocklandwriter
52
Points
rocklandwriter 09/17/13 - 02:48 pm
1
0
Glad all are fine.... however,

perhaps this area needs better traffic signals etc... if this is a hazardous area, with derailments for different reasons; still seems that something needs to be looked at. Glad all are fine, including the truck driver, I understand he is being considered "at fault".,,, I'm sure he would not have jumped from his truck if he were able to stop, is there enough time/space/notice for a truck driver to know a train is crossing? They certainly cannot stop as quick as a car can.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7387
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 09/17/13 - 03:58 pm
1
1
is there enough time/space/notice for a truck driver to know a

If they are driving the speed limit there is! My question is where is ARC EMA in getting notices out to affected areas, such as schools, industry and residents in the area to let them know that there was no chemical spill. That's just as important as knowing that there is one. It can stop panic and allow affected people to make alternate plans. I'm sure there is someone that can do this! Most other counties use Facebook or Twitter!!

curly123053
4570
Points
curly123053 09/17/13 - 05:17 pm
2
0
Oops.......

If other trucks and cars were already stopped then most likely he was distracted by something or going to fast. I am thankful there were no serious injuries.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/17/13 - 06:40 pm
0
0
GA DOT did something. Rerouted the road to a safer place.
Unpublished

GA DOT did something. Rerouted the road to a safer place.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/17/13 - 06:41 pm
0
0
You cannot idiot proof Georgia. Many have died trying.
Unpublished

You cannot idiot proof Georgia. Many have died trying.

TandM1109
6
Points
TandM1109 09/17/13 - 07:29 pm
0
0
EMA social media and emergency notification RE:ColdBeer...

The Richmond County EMA office does have an emergency notification system. An email was sent out about the delayed road closure and in the event that a larger emergency occurred the system would be utilized to call, text, and email Richmond County citizens signed up. You can sign up on the Augustaga.gov site, on the right side under quick links. There is also a Facebook page which can be found by searching Augusta Richmond County Emergency Management, it's also connected to the Twitter account where the information is posted. You can find the Twitter account by searching ARC EMA. The information about the train derailment was also posted on the Facebook page and Twitter.

nocnoc
41344
Points
nocnoc 09/18/13 - 05:55 am
1
1
Just a South Sider suggestion

Why not use a crane and lift the Log cars blocking the HWY 56 tracks out of the way.

CSX or Southern are likely going to call in a Rail mounted Crane for the derailed Chem cars.

But a local heavy lift crane could hand the Wood Car causing the HWY 56 blockage and needless detours?

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