According to Long/Ludowici Volunteer Fire and Rescue Chief Chris Moss, a motorist driving an SUV was attempting to cross a railroad crossing on Morgan Lake Road in Long County late last night when he was struck by a CSX train heading eastbound. The vehicle became impaled on the front of the train which was traveling about 25 mph and dragged several hundred feet before it came to a stop.
Moss said the man was unconscious when he arrived shortly after midnight Tuesday. The conductor was able to back up the train in order to dislodge the vehicle allowing first responders to pull the man to safety. He was transported to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. His condition at press time was unknown. He was later identified as Billy Middleton.
This was the second of two train accidents in the local area this week.
On Sunday, a Richmond Hill man was struck and killed by a CSX train. Steven Vega Maldonado, 20, was walking on the tracks wearing what appeared to be ear buds. The conductor tried to warn Maldonado of his approach but Maldonado apparently did not hear the approaching train or the warning. When the conductor spotted Maldonado he was unable to stop the train in time.
Laura Phelps, a spokeswoman with CSX, said it takes between a mile to a mile and a half to stop a train.
Richmond Hill Police spokesman Lt. Brad Sykes said ear buds were found in the area. It is not known where Maldonado was heading at the time of the accident or why he chose to walk on the tracks. A joint investigation is being conducted by the Richmond Hill Police Department and CSX.
The accident occurred around 3:15 p.m. on tracks a few hundred feet from U.S. 17 and Harris Trail Road in Richmond Hill.