Woman suffers injuries when train hits vehicle

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THOMSON --- An elderly woman was critically injured when her car was struck by a train at a railroad crossing in downtown Thomson on Saturday afternoon.

Emergency personnel tend to Ethel Roberson, the critically injured victim in Saturday's car and train accident in Thomson.  McDuffie Mirror
McDuffie Mirror
Emergency personnel tend to Ethel Roberson, the critically injured victim in Saturday's car and train accident in Thomson.

Cpl. Chris Wright, of the Georgia State Patrol post in Thomson, identified the victim as 87-year-old Ethel Roberson, of Thomson. Ms. Roberson was treated at the scene and then flown by helicopter to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

She received a cut to the head and other injuries and was in critical condition.

Traffic, which was tied up for more than an hour at two downtown railroad crossings, including Main at Jackson streets, was back to normal shortly after 5 p.m.

The crash occurred about 3:45 p.m. near Greenway and East Hendricks streets, according to an official with the Thomson Police Department. The railroad crossing has no arm guards.

Cpl. Wright said Ms. Roberson had been traveling east on Hendricks Street and was crossing the tracks on Greenway Street when her 1995 Chevrolet Lumina was struck by a CSX freight train, which was traveling southbound at an estimated speed of nearly 40 mph and carrying about 90 cars.

Only one car was carrying hazardous materials -- a flammable liquid -- and it was toward the end of the train, according to Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell and Lt. Chip Bentley, one of the first firefighters to arrive.

No charges were filed.

THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE BROKE THE STORY OF THIS ACCIDENT, POSTING IT ON ITS WEB SITE AT 4:12 P.M. SATURDAY.

Comments (25) Add comment
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patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/01/08 - 06:36 am
0
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Hint: trains leave an easily

Hint: trains leave an easily spotted track everywhere they travel. No charges filed? Is this a testament to the driving skills of an 87 yr old person?

ListenAndLearn
0
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ListenAndLearn 06/01/08 - 06:50 am
0
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Patricia, I think this may

Patricia, I think this may also be a testament to the CSX not putting up crossing arms. However, @ 72 yrs old I don't let my own mother drive because her reaction time is too slow. She's had enough minor accidents that I took her car and her keys. She's not happy, but it means she won't be in a major accident that she's driving in. There are possibly lots of circumstances involved in this accident. I know what tracks in small towns hidden on a back street are like. And, I know the area she's in. YES, there should have been crossing arms and I pray she's ok.

bone
23
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bone 06/01/08 - 07:08 am
0
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how slow must one's reaction

how slow must one's reaction time be to not respond to a train? also, i recall a comment commenting on AC's self-congratulations on "breaking" a story - how silly that the AC felt the need to add the li'l tag line at the end of this one.

getagrip
0
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getagrip 06/01/08 - 07:30 am
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Uh St. Patricia, have you

Uh St. Patricia, have you ever seen this crossing. I have and I can easily see how this can happen---even to someone younger than 87.

peonynut
2
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peonynut 06/01/08 - 07:48 am
0
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Uh, aren't you supposed to

Uh, aren't you supposed to check for trains before you cross tracks? This is a perfect example of poor testing at the DMV. Some people just should not drive. Congrats KK for taking the steps to prevent your mom from the same fate.

Riverman1
94245
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Riverman1 06/01/08 - 07:54 am
0
0
The train was going 40mph in

The train was going 40mph in town? There were no crossing arms?

debiva
0
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debiva 06/01/08 - 08:05 am
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I know this crossing. We

I know this crossing. We recently moved to Thomson and happened on the accident on the way to dinner. I can not for the life of me figure out how anyone, not even at 87, could not have seen or heard the lights at that crossing! The lights are huge. The warning bells are loud, not to mention the train whistle that it is required to sound. I hope the woman recovers, but no charges? It costs the railroad a fortune to check things out when things like this happens. She should be charged with some type of moving violation. I hope she also gets her keys taken away.... it could have been another car or pedestrian she hit, with more than just her being injured.

farfrompuken 101
0
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farfrompuken 101 06/01/08 - 08:13 am
0
0
she probably drove across the

she probably drove across the tracks and didn't stop, look , and listen but she will know next time!!!!

bone
23
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bone 06/01/08 - 08:25 am
0
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methinks her driving days are

methinks her driving days are over. hopefully, a crossing gate (or "arm guards" as mentioned in the article) are installed so no more 87 year old chevy lumina drivers will be struck at 3:45 pm in thomson.

wino5353
0
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wino5353 06/01/08 - 08:28 am
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I'm from thomson, and we HAVE

I'm from thomson, and we HAVE A LOT of elderly people still driving and we have learned to watch out for them because they will run you clear off the road. However the DMV here continues to renew their licenses. Where this lady was crossing though, there is a slight curve I believe in the track if it was coming from that way, which she may not have seen the train coming due to that. However I'm sure the lights flashing, and the train whistle may have been an appropriate warning.

mable8
2
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mable8 06/01/08 - 09:20 am
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Let's wait until YOU are a

Let's wait until YOU are a little older and see how YOU drive; bet you won't give up the keys because it means you are no longer independent. Some of those tracks are NOT easily seen even by the best. Those flashing lights and loud alarms have gone off with no train in sight; I know because I sat for 15 minutes waiting for the train to pass by--it never did. No, I did not cross the tracks at that location, but turned around and went to another crossing a couple blocks away. No alarms, bells, flashing lights--and no train either. The lady does not deserve a ticket--that's my opinion even though it counters yours.

NANF
4
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NANF 06/01/08 - 10:31 am
0
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No wonder the world is going

No wonder the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Is there not even the first little bit of compassion for the lady? Betcha if it was your grandmother, you would have already called a lawyer even before the lady arrived at MCG. Shame on you!!!

bone
23
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bone 06/01/08 - 10:37 am
0
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don't mistake our ramblings

don't mistake our ramblings for lack of compassion, nanf. of course no one wishes the elderly lady had been in this accident.

Dark Lord
2
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Dark Lord 06/01/08 - 11:24 am
0
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Well, I for one feel that a

Well, I for one feel that a person over the age of 65 needs to road tested every year to maintain thier driving priviledges. And people tend to forget that it is just a priviledge. Elderly people tend to be more of a hazard than anything on the roadways. Yes, I know that one day I will be elderly but until then they reallly should not be allowed to drive except in emergencies. Their reaction time is to slow and people simply drive like idiots today. The elderly can't handle the road rave and aggressive drivers out there. PLEASE forgive me but how does someone not see or hear a train? They are BIG, LOUD,and SLOW.

RollingEyes
0
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RollingEyes 06/01/08 - 12:40 pm
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getagrip, you have me curious

getagrip, you have me curious about that crossing. How many other car/train accidents happen there each year? Is this a common occurrence at that location or was this simply an incident in which a driver failed to pay attention and disregarded using simple precautionary actions? Train tracks do not get randomly moved around the city. They stay in the same place and are well marked. Now don't get me wrong, my sympathies go with the lady as well as her family. I wish her a full and speedy recovery and I also hope that other drivers will use her accident as an example as to what NOT TO DO at a RR crossing.

blueberry
0
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blueberry 06/01/08 - 01:04 pm
0
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I am from Thomson and is very

I am from Thomson and is very familiar with that crossing. It doesn't have arms up and there has been times when the lights are flashing and the bell is ringing but no train comes. When this happened to me I turned around and crossed at another section that was clear because you don't know for sure what is coming around that curve and if there is a train coming you probably won't make it across. I also heard that her car got stuck on the tracks. So maybe she had been waiting and thought it was okay to go since no train had come. I don't know what happened but I am praying that she have a speedy recovery and maybe she will tell what happened and people can stop assuming what happened.

edwardc
1
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edwardc 06/01/08 - 01:51 pm
0
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If we had mass transit or

If we had mass transit or someone who is willing to drive us old folks to the grocery store, church, and doctor, we wouldn't have to drive.

jack
11
Points
jack 06/01/08 - 02:04 pm
0
0
No sympathy for CSX as they

No sympathy for CSX as they do NOTHING to improve/repair crossings. Some of the worst are in A/RC.

BakersfieldCityLimits
1
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BakersfieldCityLimits 06/01/08 - 02:42 pm
0
0
Hey you bunch of dim wits,

Hey you bunch of dim wits, CSX does not decide where crossing arms go, the state does. CSX does not pay for them, the state does. CSX INSTALLS and MAINTAINS them. The tracks were there before the road, if it is too much for you to look for a train take a different route.

poncharoo
0
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poncharoo 06/01/08 - 03:40 pm
0
0
Ok, so there or no crossing

Ok, so there or no crossing arms...big deal. There are flashing lights, ringing bells at that intersection. Ohh wait, she's 87...she probably couldn’t hear the bells dinging or see the lights flashing. Did she even think to stop and look both ways?? Probably NOT! Think about it, if she would have stopped, looked to the right or left she would have seen or heard a huge train coming. What worries me is if she did not see the train, would she even see a car coming down a street? Lets say the other car has the right of way and she pulls out in front of them? Are you going to say it's not her fault because there are no crossing arms at the stop sign to let her know a car was approaching? I agree with Dark Lord on anyone over 65 having to go through another road test yearly and I mean be strict with it too. DMV should not give in to the elderly because they feel sorry for them. They probably are thinking if they take their license away it will hurt their feelings. I’d rather do that then for them to hurt or kill an innocent person. So don't blame CSX....the train HAS the right of way. The point is, she should have stopped and looked both ways before going across the tracks.

a few bad apples
0
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a few bad apples 06/01/08 - 04:57 pm
0
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While the "little old lady"

While the "little old lady" made a big mistake and should probably not be driving, she is not the group of drivers I fear most. Those who talk or text while zipping in and out of traffic are much more of a danger to me and you for that matter. It is certainly likely this "little old lady" may not need to drive anymore but I lament the fact that there is nothing we can do about hazardous driving of the cell phone generation.

Ima Teacher at Heart
0
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Ima Teacher at Heart 06/01/08 - 05:19 pm
0
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Very few accidents occur at

Very few accidents occur at any of the crossings in Thomson, because people SLOW DOWN, LOOK, and LISTEN at the train tracks. The few accidents that have happened have been due to people talking on cell phones, elderly, or otherwise impaired.

Dra1000
0
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Dra1000 06/01/08 - 06:19 pm
0
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I hope all of you are happy

I hope all of you are happy with your insensitive comments because she died today

NANF
4
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NANF 06/01/08 - 07:19 pm
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God love her and her family.

God love her and her family.

bone
23
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bone 06/01/08 - 08:25 pm
0
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how could her death make

how could her death make anyone happy? you seem a bit insensitive yourself, dra. my condolences to her family.

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