FLORIDA - Train Crash Injures One

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Saturday, April 8, 2000

Train Crash Injures One

By KATHY CIOTOLA Sun staff writer, Gainesville, FLORIDA

A woman was injured Friday afternoon when the car she was riding in was hit by a CSX train in Archer and dragged 180 feet across the tracks.

A towing company employee looks over the car Friday that was struck by a CSX train as the car tried to cross the tracks in Archer. ALAN CAMPBELL/The Gainesville Sun

The driver of the car, Victor Smith, had his stereo up too loud and told rescue workers he couldn't hear the train whistle, said Alachua County Fire Rescue Spokesman Gregg Martin. "They didn't hear it or see it and by the time they did, it was too late," Martin said.

There were flashing lights but no crossing bars at the corner of Johnson and Railroad avenues, where the four-car train passed by at about 25 mph, said Alachua County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Troiano.

The 1991 four-door Oldsmobile was struck in the passenger side and dragged 180 feet across the tracks, Troiano said. Sherralynn Larkin of Newberry suffered broken bones and was treated and released at a hospital, Troiano said.

Smith, who wasn't hurt, was charged with violation of a traffic control device at a railroad crossing. The wreck could have been fatal as so many train vs. car crashes are, if not for the train's slow speed, Martin said.

"That's why we urge people to turn their radios down," Martin said. "When the bass is so loud and intense, within that confined area with windows rolled up, you can't hear the person next to you much less a train blowing their whistle warning you that they're coming down the track."

Drivers with loud stereos often fail to hear emergency vehicles, Martin added.

Kathy Ciotola can be reached at 338-3109 or ciotolk@gvillesun.com.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), April 08, 2000

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