Local News

Two Injured in Train/Car Collision

Posted April 19, 1996

— April 20, 1996, 11:25 a.m., DST Two occupants of a car were thrown from the vehicle when it was hit by an Amtrak train. Joseph J. Pietrzak, 55, of Jamesburg, New Jersey, and his 23-year-old daughter Beth were both taken to Wake Medical Center. He was listed in critical condition with severe head injuries; his daughter was listed in stable condition.

Witnesses said the pair were studying a map as they sat in the car facing south, with the front of their vehicle on the north side of the tracks.

They were in a 1995 Lincoln Continental in the 800 block of East Chatham Road about 5:20 p.m. Friday. A service road to Public Service Gas Company crosses the track. Warning signs mark the railroad line, but there are no gates or flashing lights.

Amtrak Train No. 79 was traveling westbound, on the north side of the tracks, at about 65 mph on its run from Richmond to Charlotte, when it crashed into the driver's side rear quarter-panel and spun the car off the tracks to the south.

Pieces of the car's body and items from inside the car were strewn over the intersection south of the tracks. The train was able to stop about half a mile down the tracks.

Neither of the Pietrzaks was wearing a seatbelt

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