March 6, 2013

Woman killed in Chatsworth when car hits train

Rachel Brown

CHATSWORTH — A woman was killed Wednesday morning when her car collided with a CSX train on the tracks off of Highway 411 in Chatsworth, officials said. The woman’s name has not been released.

Police Chief Terry Martin said she was the only person in the car. The train came to a stop near the Wendy’s, but the wreck happened about 75 to 100 yards south of where the car ended up.

Officials aren’t sure why the car veered into the path of the train.

“We’re still trying to figure out what happened,” Martin said.

The call came in at 10:15 a.m., and the wreck was cleared about noon.

Chatsworth resident Lynda Wilson said she was eating at Hardee’s when she heard ambulances and other emergency vehicles responding and looked out to see what had happened. What she saw was a car under a train.

“I was really afraid there were children in it,” she said, adding she was scared for any adults involved, too, but immediately thought first of younger individuals. “It’s really sad.”

CSX spokesman Gary Sease said the train, with two locomotives and 24 rail cars, was on its way from Atlanta to Ravenna, Ky. He said he did not know how fast the train was going at the time of the collision or if the train had any warning or slowed before impact. He said the train, which was able to continue on its journey after personnel spoke with law enforcement officials, does have an event recorder that should have captured such specifics.

“We’re cooperating with the police investigation into the incident,” he said.

Sease said he did not know what train personnel, including a locomotive engineer and a conductor, had told law enforcement officials.