Woman suffers injuries when train hits vehicle

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

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.

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.