Coffee Co. residents demand safety improvements at railroad crossing

Residents want safety arms at crossing

COFFEE CO., GA (WALB) - A second train crash at the same South Georgia railroad crossing has some residents shaken and demanding safety improvements.

Trains traveling at high-speeds across an unarmed railroad crossing has community members in Coffee County on edge.

After a semi-truck crashed into a CSX train Monday afternoon on Barrington Road off of Highway 32, we asked one neighbor if she was surprised at the wreck that happened so close to her home.

“No, I’m not surprised, because there needs to be arms so the people will stop,” said Coffee Co. resident BJ Lytle.

Lytle has lived directly in front of the unarmed crossing for roughly six months and said more than a lot of people ignore the signs.

“They don’t always stop when they see the train coming,” said Lytle.

Lytle was home during Monday's wreck, which resulted in the driver being life-flighted to Tallahassee.

“My husband and I heard two loud booms and we looked out and saw that the train had stopped,” explained Lytle.

Georgia State Patrol Troopers said the driver failed to yield and ran directly into the train traveling toward Douglas.

Troopers remind drivers that they should stop completely, look closely and listen for approaching trains.

With a high volume of traffic, Lytle reiterates this crossing to be top priority to have crossing arms put in.

“I would say to put that at the top of the list because there’s a lot of trucks that go by too, a lot of big trucks and the peanut factory is right there, so there’s a lot of traffic,” concluded Lytle.

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