Two Hospitalized After Train Hits Cars At Separate Crossings
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A Norfolk Southern freight train struck cars at two crossings in eastern Tennessee within three hours of each other, and a railroad official said the engineer could not have avoided either accident.
Both drivers from the Sunday evening accidents were hospitalized at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
″The train was proceeding in an orderly fashion, within the speed limits,″ said Neil Monroe, a spokesman in Atlanta for Norfolk Southern Corp. ″The train tried to apply the brakes, but it was simply too late.″
The engineer, George Hicks, ″is not under any suspension or disciplinary action,″ Monroe said. ″He volunteered to take a blood test.″
The crossings, about 25 miles apart, had signs but no gates, he said, adding ille-to-Chattanooga train struck a car driven by Allan Christison, 36, of Louisville.
In the second accident about three hours later in Niota, the train struck a car driven by David Wood, 16, of Niota, officials said.
Christison was listed in critical condition today and Wood was in serious condition, hospital officials said.
Monroe said he did not know if the cars were stopped on the tracks or were crossing the tracks when they were struck.
The train stopped for two hours at the scene of the first accident and was given permission to proceed by the Loudon County Sheriff’s Department, Monroe said. After the second accident, the train completed its trip to Chattanooga.