Local News

Report: Mom was on cell phone when train hit

Posted December 30, 2009 4:26 p.m. EST
Updated December 30, 2009 4:43 p.m. EST

— An Efland woman killed last week in a train-car collision ran through the crossing gate while talking on a cell phone, the state Highway Patrol said in a report released Wednesday.

Erin Brett Lindsay-Calkins, 26, and her 5-year-old son, Nicholas Lindsay, were killed in the Dec. 22 wreck, which happened at the railroad track at Southern Drive and Mount Willing Road in Efland. Her 4-month-old daughter was injured but survived.

The Highway Patrol concluded after interviewing witnesses and meeting with Amtrak officials that Lindsay-Calkins was traveling west on Forest Drive and made a right turn onto Mount Willing Road, where she traveled under the railroad crossing bar into the path of the Amtrak train.

"The investigation determined that Mrs. Lindsay-Calkins failed to stop at a duly marked railroad crossing," Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Gordon said in a news release.

Investigators also found that the gate was operating properly.

The collision was the second in December between a train and car at a railroad crossing. Brothers Calvin Brandon, 9, and Hassan Bingham, 6, were killed died Dec. 10 when a train hit their mother's SUV at the intersection of Ellis Road and Angier Avenue in Durham.

In that case, investigators said the crossing arm went down on the windshield as the boys' mother was stuck in traffic. She tried to back up and move forward to get off the tracks, but the train hit the back end of the vehicle before she could finish maneuvering.

The boys were not wearing their seat belts, police said.