Teen dead after train collides with car in Cordele

Published: Sep. 10, 2015 at 6:38 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2015 at 1:54 AM EDT
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CORDELE, GA (WALB) - A family is calling for safety changes at a Cordele railroad crossing after a teenager was killed in a collision there Thursday afternoon.

Police and Norfolk Southern are both in the early stages of their investigations, but the crash is already raising safety concerns over the crossing there on 22nd Avenue between 7th Street and 5th Street.

Trains roaring down tracks through some of the busiest streets in town are a common site in Cordele.

"We're here 6 or 8 hours a day and we have countless trains going to and fro," said nearby resident Ralph Nutt.

Thursday was going like any regular day for Ralph Nutt.

"I heard the train blowing at approximately two o'clock as usual at the crossing," said Nutt.

But what he heard next was the beginning of one family's nightmare.

"Later I heard the sirens and I looked and saw all the emergency vehicles arriving," said Nutt.

A small Dodge Dart is where the emergency vehicles were headed.

Police say its driver, 19-year old Synia Curry, never heard or saw the train coming as she crossed the tracks on 22nd Avenue.

The massive train crumbled the passenger side of the car where 14-year old Javion Walker was sitting.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Walker passed away at Crisp Regional due to the injuries of the accident," said Sgt. Jeremy Taylor with the Cordele Police Department.

The crash raises concerns over the safety of the intersection. There are no crossing arms to warn unsuspecting drivers.  Javion's grandfather told me at the scene, he will push city leaders for safety improvements here.

Police said the tragedy is a painful reminder to everyone.

"When you come up to a train track whether it has crossing arms or not, you still need to look and listen because even with crossing arms, your never guaranteed that they're working properly," said Sgt. Taylor.

But others say more must be done.

"It'd be nice to have some emergency arms at the railroad crossing I think because this is a pretty heavily travelled road here on 22nd Avenue," said Nutt.

Curry did not suffer any serious injuries. Police are looking to see if loud music had anything to do with the wreck.

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