Elderly couple walks away from scene unhurt after train hits car bumper
by Lindsay Field and Rail crossing has history of 13 accidents since 1975
June 07, 2013 12:00 AM | 4055 views | 9 9 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MDJ Staff/ Kelly Huff
MDJ Staff/ Kelly Huff
slideshow
A CSX train sits idle on the tracks at Whitlock Avenue in downtown Marietta on Thursday after striking a 1990 Lincoln Town Car driven by Joseph McClure, 83, of Marietta. McClure and his wife Edna, 85, walked away from the accident with no injuries, according to Marietta Police.<br>Special to the MDJ/Eric Dolive
A CSX train sits idle on the tracks at Whitlock Avenue in downtown Marietta on Thursday after striking a 1990 Lincoln Town Car driven by Joseph McClure, 83, of Marietta. McClure and his wife Edna, 85, walked away from the accident with no injuries, according to Marietta Police.
Special to the MDJ/Eric Dolive
slideshow
MARIETTA — Eric Dolive never imagined an afternoon stroll with his 2-year-old son through downtown Marietta would result in them witnessing a train versus car accident.

He and his son, Logan, were hanging out not too far from the Whitlock Avenue railroad crossing just west of the Square waiting on a train to pass when they saw the accident.

“I heard the train coming and noticed that the front end of the guy’s car was on the track, but he wasn’t moving,” Dolive said.

He tried to wave down the couple to get them to move out of the way, but for some reason they didn’t budge at first.

“The bar came down on the roof of the car, and that’s when he started trying to get off the tracks,” Dolive said. “The engine was revving but for some reason the car didn’t move. It sounded to me like it was out of gear.”

After the wreck, Dolive called 911 to report the incident.

“I wish I could have helped them, but I had to get to my son,” he said. “They got out and were shaken up but actually doing OK considering what just happened to them.”

Officer David Auld with Marietta Police said the call came in around noon in response to a white 1990 Lincoln Town Car being hit on the tracks.

The driver was 83-year-old Joseph McClure of Marietta and the passenger was his wife, 85-year-old Edna McClure.

“Witnesses at the scene said Mr. McClure attempted to back up, but that the Lincoln appeared to not go into reverse,” Auld said. “The train struck the front bumper of the Lincoln as it passed.”

The couple walked away from the crash without injuries but traffic in and around the Square in downtown Marietta was affected for two hours while the scene was cleared.

“The incident is still under investigation but no charges have been filed at this time,” Auld said.

Kenneth Givens, owner of Square Cuts in Marietta, said he heard the train’s whistle blowing as it sped through the downtown area and the screeching of its brakes as it approached the car.

He and a few others were standing alongside where the accident was to see if they too could find out exactly what happened.

Train crossing has a history

The most recent train accident near this crossing was on Dec. 31, 2012, when Anthony McCullum, 27, was walking on the tracks. He was rushed to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, but later died.

According to incident records from the Federal Railroad Administration, which dates back to 1975, there have 13 accidents reported at the Whitlock Avenue crossing.

The most crashes were reported in 2007, when the only other death recorded in almost 40 years occurred at the crossing because of a pedestrian was on the tracks.

Gary Sease, a spokesman with CSX, said he isn’t aware of this area of the railway being deemed a problem.

He couldn’t speak to this specific accident but said any time an engineer is going by a busy area like the Square, they will blow the horn as required by federal regulations.

“If they see a vehicle or person on the tracks, they will obviously apply the brakes, but all of our crossings are marked with a toll-free number to our public safety personnel in Jacksonville, Fla.,” Sease said.

If someone is injured or stuck on the track, that number can be dialed and dispatchers will immediately warn any nearby trains to stop.

The train Thursday was traveling from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Waycross in southwest Georgia. It was two locomotives carrying 52 railcars with mixed freight, including building supplies, paper and asphalt.
Comments
(9)
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anonymous
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June 07, 2013
"Somebody" needs new glasses....This wouldn't have happend if that somebody had not stopped

in traffic flow almost on the tracks. Use common sense... The traffic in that area is always busy. Getting caught on the tracks is really dangerous.

Painted lines are drawn on streets, at intersections, for safety, use them.
careaboutu
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June 07, 2013
Children need to take care of there parents, as they took care of them. Hire a driver to take them where they need to go.
Gettin there myself
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June 07, 2013
I feel that once a person hits age 70, there should be a mandatory yearly driving test. Like it or not reflexes slow as you get older. I am approaching myself and would not mind anything that makes the roads safer. My opinion is biggest problem today is the "It's all about me" driver. Better they impact many than themselves.
Just Wait
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June 07, 2013
And someone, of course, will try to blame the train for this accident.
Eagleflyboy172
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June 07, 2013
1) you don't stop on the track area, 2) it seems that perhaps age played a big role in this. If the car was in N - having been in D, the driver just didn't get the gear changed to R - maybe because of panic. They are lucky.
cars cars cars
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June 07, 2013
The more we do to accommodate cars and the elderly who prefer them for transporation, the more this will become a regular occurrence.

We need the thru-traffic trains to go around a Train-285 and stay out of the city.

We also need young people.

Unfortunately we are intentionally headed the other direction on both needs.
Retiree1
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June 06, 2013
I'm sorry, but doesn't EVERYBODY know you are not supposed to stop on the tracks in traffic??????
A. Bender
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June 06, 2013
One should never stop on the tracks to wait for a light....stay well back from the barrier arms too. All to often someone will try to beat the arms coming down. A little patience goes a long way. Thank God this couple was not hurt.
SouthernME
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June 06, 2013
Common sense...do not stop on RR tracks!
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