Amtrak train hits minivan in Mebane; one killed
Posted December 16, 2014
Mebane, N.C. — Authorities are investigating an accident involving an Amtrak passenger train that hit a minivan Tuesday afternoon in Mebane, killing a woman.
A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation said passenger train 177575 was traveling west when it hit the Dodge Caravan at a railroad crossing at East Washington Street, near South 5th Street, just before 12:45 p.m.
The impact of the crash pushed the van about two blocks before coming to a stop.
The woman, identified as Doris Miles Pinnix, 80, of Burlington, was the only occupant of the vehicle. No one on the train was injured.
Retired firefighter Frankie Solomon said he was sitting in his truck in front of the tracks when it happened.
"I went to help – that's automatic," he said. "I walked up to the conductors, and I looked and said there's nothing we could do. I got in the car and left to get out of the emergency people's way."
Solomon said others at the scene with him saw the woman stop on the track and try to get her car to move but that it appeared she panicked and could not get off fast enough.
The 5th Street crossing has historically been one of Mebane's worst. Since 2009, there have been two other accidents at that same crossing.
Mebane rail crossings
|RANK||PRED COLLS||CROSSING||RR||STATE||COUNTY||CITY||ROAD||NUM OF COLLISIONS 13*||NUM OF COLLISIONS 12||NUM OF COLLISIONS 11||NUM OF COLLISIONS 10||NUM OF COLLISIONS 09||DATE CHG||W D||TOT TRN||TOT TRK||TTBL SPD||HWY PVD||HWY LNS||AADT|
|3||0.021498||735469V||NS||NC||ALAMANCE||MEBANE||SOUTH THIRD ST||0||0||0||0||0||FQ||16||2||60||YES||2||5,005|
|6||0.013984||735465T||NS||NC||ALAMANCE||MEBANE||LAKE LATHAM RD||0||0||0||0||0||FQ||16||1||60||YES||2||840|
Source: Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis, Highway-Rail Crossing Safety & Trespass Prevention. Data is incomplete and is the most recent available.
RANK: Crossings are listed in order and ranked with the highest collision prediction value first.
PRED COLLS: The accident prediction value is the probability that a collision between a train and a highway vehicle will occur at the crossing in a year.
CROSSING: The unique sight specific identifying DOT/AAR Crossing Inventory Number.
RR: The alphabetic abbreviation for the railroad name.
DATE CHG: The date of the latest change of the warning device category at the crossing which impacts the collision prediction calculation, e.g., a change from crossbucks to flashing lights, or flashing lights to gates. The accident prediction calculation utilizes three different formulas, on each for (1) passive devices, (2) flashing lights only, and (3) flashing lights with gates. When a date is shown, the collision history prior to the indicated year-month is not included in calculating the accident prediction value.
W D: The type of warning device shown on the current Inventory record for the crossing where:
FQ=Four Quad Gates; GT = All Other Gates; FL = Flashing lights; HS = Wigwags, Highway
Signals, Bells, or Other Activated; SP = Special Protection (e.g., a flagman); SS = Stop Signs;
XB = Crossbucks; OS = Other Signs or Signals; NO = No Signs or Signals.
TOT TRNS: Number of total trains per day.
TOT TRKS: Total number of railroad tracks between the warning devices at the crossing.
TTBL SPD: The maximum timetable (allowable) speed for trains through the crossing.
HWY PVD: Is the highway paved on both sides of the crossing?
HWY LNS: The number of highway traffic lanes crossing the tracks at the crossing.
AADT: The Average Annual Daily Traffic count for highway vehicles using the crossing.