Local News

Cary man killed by train was highly regarded in community

Posted June 10, 2009 5:46 p.m. EDT
Updated June 10, 2009 6:48 p.m. EDT

— A Cary man killed when an Amtrak train struck his car Tuesday was an "icon of his community," family and friends said Wednesday.

Jack Milton Daniels, 60, was killed Tuesday morning when an Amtrak train struck his car at the railroad crossing near Royal and Hillsborough streets near North Carolina State University.

Raleigh police said Daniels ignored the flashing signal and appeared to stop in the middle of the train crossing.

Family members said he was on his way to make an inventory pickup and that he was in a hurry.

"He was just the same old Jack, smiling, doing what he had to do for the store and for Nan," his sister-in-law, Kara Bond, said.

Daniels owned and ran the Jack Daniels Grocery Store on Jones Franklin Road with his wife, Nan Daniels, for decades. Friends said he was actively involved in his church and with service organizations.

"People just loved him," Steve Peters said. "They got a good meal (at his store). They had good conversation there."

State Sen. A. B Swindell, D-Nash, was Daniels' friend since childhood.

"My heart just felt like it had stopped for a second," Swindell said. "It's such a loss for not only Jack's friends but for the community."

The family will receive friends at a visitation Friday night from 6-8 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Cary. A private family funeral will be Saturday.

Several people who work near the crash site say the equipment at the crossing has not been working properly. Officials with CSX, which maintains the railroad, tested the equipment and said it was working fine.