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Train hits minivan at Mebane crossing

Posted February 24, 2010

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— No one was injured Wednesday morning when a freight train hit a minivan at a rail crossing in Mebane, police said.

The eastbound Norfolk Southern train hit a 2004 Honda Odyssey, which was sitting on the tracks at 5th and Center streets, at about 11 a.m., said Thomas Byrd, assistant chief of the Mebane Police Department.

The minivan was making a left turn from 5th Street onto Center Street when the warning arms came down over the crossing. The driver then was unable to move the vehicle from the tracks, Byrd said.

The train was traveling at 25 mph before impact and 12 mph at impact, he said.

The driver was the only person in the minivan, and the engineer and conductor were the only people on the train.

The wreck remains under investigation.

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  • justiceforall Feb 25, 2010

    Will the stupidity ever end?

  • thefensk Feb 24, 2010

    To 4cats question about speed ... this particular spot is right next to a siding. I wasn't there but I'm thinking maybe they were coming off the siding after letting another train pass. They park trains on that siding all the time.

  • 4Cats Feb 24, 2010

    if the train had time to slow down, you would think the driver could have gotten out of the car before impact if nothing else...

  • TomLynda Feb 24, 2010

    "The minivan was making a left turn from 5th Street onto Center Street when the warning arms came down over the crossing. The driver then was unable to move the vehicle from the tracks, Byrd said"

    Unable to move the vehicle from the tracks????? As another poster said, trains run on tracks, cars don't, so the car (truck, whatever) has freedom to move in many directions. I'll bet the driver was on the phone (or texting) and at the last second saw the extreme danger they were in, at which point it was too late to do anything about it.

    Those train horns are loud, loud, loud for crying out loud.

    I can't believe the driver actually told them that.

  • thefensk Feb 24, 2010

    If the arms come down on your car, just drive forward and break them. Even the train companies say that.

    Yes they will scratch and dent your car.

    The train will too. Take your pick.

  • thefensk Feb 24, 2010

    "I can't tell if people are stupid or just bigger risk takers than I would ever care to be."

    Good for you ... they are just banking that you are easily intimidated.

  • audgepaudge Feb 24, 2010

    Another chiming in from Mebane ... people stop on these train tracks all the time. I've been in the position where I stop before the train tracks, and people behind me honk at me to pull up so I am resting right on the tracks! I refuse, of course. I can't tell if people are stupid or just bigger risk takers than I would ever care to be.

  • skaternum Feb 24, 2010

    So let's see. Here are today's excuses: The arms come down quickly. The tracks are bumpy. There's a turn right after the crossing. Did I miss any? The bottom line here is that someone had their car where it shouldn't have been. The SUV driver is 100% at fault!

    Safe driving tip of the day: If a train is coming straight at your car, MOVE YOUR CAR. Hit another car, drive through the crossing arms, whatever. But move your car. Sheesh.

  • genie2u Feb 24, 2010

    Heck, just 3 weeks ago, the lady and kid was killed 2 crossings down from that.
    The mebane / efland area has MANY crossings going right through the heart of the communities, it really isn't safe, but it is an EASY thing to avoid if you pay attention and DONOT STOP ON TRACKS. i see people do this all the time because there are stop lights at everyone of them.

    NEVER stop on the tracks, whether you see a train or not jeez... stop and wait for the light.

  • genie2u Feb 24, 2010

    qo... I live in Mebane, you are right, lots of crossings, but I guess because of that they do NOT blow their horns most of the time going through the ones right down town

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