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Train strikes motorist

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January 31, 2003

Albany-- Police rerouted traffic near downtown Thursday night for two hours while emergency crews worked feverishly to save a Leesburg man.

Willard Humphries was driving on Monroe Street around 7:00. He crossed the railroad tracks right in front of a Norfolk Southern train. It dragged Humphries' pick-up truck 400 feet before it could stop.

Firefighters worked more than two hours before they got the driver out.

"The tragedy of this is that this is not uncommon," said Safety Teacher John Crittenden. "This happens every two hours somewhere in America."

Crittenden was in Lee County yesterday teaching safety officals a course concerning train and vehicle collisons. There are no crossing gates or flashing lights at this intersection, but there are warning signs .

Humphries is being treated at Phoebe Putney with injuries to his left side. He is expected to recover,  and will be charged with failure to yield to a railroad crossing.

posted at 9:55AM by dave.miller@walb.com