Murray County

March 7, 2013

Friend: Habersham woman was on way to new job when killed in train wreck

A 58-year-old woman who was killed when her car veered into the path of a CSX train in Chatsworth Wednesday morning had a “great sense of humor” and “great work ethics,” said a former supervisor.

Shirley Tyler Shedd, 58, of Demorest in Habersham County, was killed when her Toyota Solara abruptly turned into the path of the northbound train while she was driving north on U.S. 411 close to the Wendy’s. Chatsworth Police Chief Terry Martin hasn’t returned several messages left for follow-up questions, but he said on the scene Wednesday that authorities weren’t sure why the woman veered off when she wasn’t even at an intersection.

Andrea Tjepkema said she supervised Shedd when they both worked for a hospice several years ago in Cumming and always admired her. She said Shedd was going to Dalton for training in a new job she had recently taken for an assisted living facility. A coworker got a call when she didn’t show up for the orientation, surprised because Shedd was always so reliable, Tjepkema said.

“She was a Christian,” Tjepkema said. “She was a very generous, giving person. Just great attitude, great work ethic, and everybody’s just going to miss her.”

An incident report shows Shedd’s car drove down the embankment into the train and flipped on its top. It then bounced back and forth up the embankment and against the train, being struck six times in the front and rear before finally coming to rest about 244 feet north of the point of impact, according to the report.

“Witness states that (the car) was northbound in the outermost lane and suddenly turned right going off the roadway before striking the train,” the report states.

A CSX spokesman said the company is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation into the incident. reports Hunter Funeral Home in Clayton is handling arrangements.

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Murray County