Local News

Man Dies in Train-Truck Collision

Posted November 14, 1996

— A 74-year-old man died and his wife left in critical condition after he drove their pickup into the path of an oncoming Norfolk Southern freight train. The accident occurred shortly after noon Wednesday on Wagstaff Road.

James Smith died at Wake Medical Center. His wife, Nina Mae Smith, 71, is listed in extremely critical condition.

Troopers said Smith apparently did no hear the signal bells nor the train's whistle, nor did he take notice of the flashing red lights. One witness, however, said he saw brake lights lit on Smith's pickup, indicating that Smith may have tried to stop at the last second.

The impact shoved the Chevy pickup 100 feet, where it came to rest in a ditch next to the tracks.

Although the crossing has no gate, witnesses said the lights and bells had worked.

The train's crew was not injured, and the 665-ton train was only slightly damaged.

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