Two men killed in Chesterfield County train accident
Mon, 20 Jun 2011 12:51:20 GMT —
Chesterfield County Coroner Kip Kiser identified two people killed in an accident involving an Amtrak train as Glenn Locklear, 52, and Barney Driggers, 56.
The Amtrak train, carrying 244 passengers, collided with their pickup truck in Chesterfield County Monday morning.
Cheraw Police Chief Jay Brooks says the accident happened at 7:21 a.m. on East Market Street in Cheraw.
Woody Rorie, 64, heard the crash from his backyard.
"I saw the Amtrak come through by the back of the house in a few minutes. I heard a bang-bam then I saw the police cars kept flying by the house," he said.
Brooks says the men worked for the City of Cheraw as maintenance workers. He says they were driving a city bucket truck, picking up leaves and limbs from a storm Saturday night.
Amtrak says the train left Miami on Sunday headed to New York. No one on the train was hurt. Passengers did have to wait on the train until just before 2:00 p.m. when it was allowed to continue on to New York.
Investigators say they still aren't sure who was driving, Driggers or Locklear.
Driggers' first cousin, Larry Leviner, says the accident has devastated his family.
"It ain't gonna be right coming this end of town and not seeing Sly," said Leviner.
Cheraw police say the railroad crossing doesn't have crossing arms, primarily because it's not a heavily traveled street.
Rorie said, "You know the train blow. You got to listen for the train. You got to go at your own risk down there."
Officials with the State Department of Transportation say crossing arms are installed based on traffic volume.
A new state law, called John's Law, places more attention on crossing arms.
John's law is in memory of 16-year-old John Malcom Brabham, III of Sumter County.
On July 23, 2009, he was was killed in a collision between a train and his car at a railroad crossing without crossing arms that may have prevented his death.
John's Law requires the DOT to inform the public of the locations of railroad crossings where it plans to install crossing arms and to immediately place traffic stop signs at extremely dangerous locations until money is available to install crossing arms.
It's not clear if the East Market Street intersection has been reviewed for crossing arms.
Some bystanders held a moment of silence for the victims. They tell us they're hoping state transportation officials will take another look at the East Market Street crossing.
The new law also requires DOT to increase the number of crossing arms it installs annually.
Is there a railroad crossing in your area that you consider in need of crossing arms?