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Kelly & West News

Unsafe NC Railroad Crossing Causes Second Accident in a Week

On Tuesday, June 25, a freight train crashed into a car at an insufficiently marked railroad crossing and dragged the vehicle, with the driver inside, 200 yards, reports WSOC-TV. The impact occurred in Conover, North Carolina, but the car was dragged into the city limits of neighboring Newton.

The driver of the car, 34-year-old Efren Chavez, was critically injured in the collision. Chavez had been leaving his shift at the Southern Furniture Company plant when a Norfolk Southern train, carrying more than 8,000 pounds of scrubber limestone, struck his vehicle as he pulled unaware into its path.

There are no lights or railroad crossing arms to warn drivers and pedestrians of oncoming trains at this crossing, which run in front of the entrance to the furniture plant.

The collision marks the second accident at the same railroad crossing in less than a week. On Thursday, June 20, a pedestrian was struck by a train while trying to cross the tracks in front of Southern Furniture Company. The man sustained injuries and was taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center following the crash.

Chavez, however, was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, after EMS technicians cut open the roof of his vehicle to extract him from the wreckage. He underwent surgery and was placed in the neurological intensive care unit, with his condition listed as critical.

Conover Police Chief Steve Brewer says that people leaving the plant often don’t hear oncoming trains at the crossing, particularly if they’re driving with the windows up and the air conditioning and radio on. Railroad crossing arms with lights and sounds are effective warnings, and are used at most populated railroad crossings.

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and receive recompense for medical bills, as well as pain and suffering. Our Raleigh personal injury lawyers are here to help you. Contact Kelly & West today to discuss the details of your personal injury claim.

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