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Orange County Man Hospitalized After Car-Train Collision

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HILLSBOROUGH — An Orange County man is hospitalized after his car collided with a train Thursday morning.

Investigators say the driver of a Geo Metro tried to beat an oncomingAmtrakpassenger train at a crossing near Hillsborough.

At that location, the only warning for motorists is a railroad crossing sign, which puts the responsibility on drivers to make the decision whether to cross.

A witness to the crash said the driver of the car hesitated, then tried to beat the train across the tracks.

"The train hit the tail end of the car, spinning the car. I saw the car spin, then the train was in my view. I saw the debris on the top of the train," explains Jason Ballard. "I was kind of scared, I jumped out of the truck, the train goes by, and I run to the car looking for the man driving. He wasn't in the car. It threw him, I'm guessing, 30 feet."

The car was literally split in half.

The victim's name has not yet been released. He is listed in serious condition atDuke University Medical Center.

Railroad officials at the accident scene say there is not enough vehicle traffic at the crossing to warrant flashing lights or gates.

No charges are expected to be filed.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Jim Young, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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