From the NARP blog post Tracks Are For Trains:
Late Monday night, northbound Amtrak Crescent train 20 struck an unoccupied automobile at a grade crossing in Greer, SC. What makes this story remarkable is that the disoriented driver did not escape until the last minute, when she was coaxed out by a Greer Police Officer who happened to pass the crossing. And it was all caught on the dash-mounted camera of the police cruiser. Here’s the astonishing video of how the events transpired, courtesy of Greer PD, via WYFF-TV:
The driver was apparently lost — and distracted by cell phone use. She might be a prime candidate for education by Operation Lifesaver, whose volunteers work tirelessly to fulfill the education aspect of OL’s mission of “ending tragic collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights of way.
Remember: Tracks are for trains! Stay away and stay alive!
For the sake of accuracy, I will point out the accident was, in fact, early Tuesday morning, if one believes the time stamp on the video.
Here is the video:
The accompanying article is here.
Perhaps the woman, Betsy Devall, is simply emotional, but from this video I would say that her distraction looks more significant than simply being lost and on a cell phone. And, as an aside, who stops in the middle of train tracks at midnight to talk on their cell phone? Who needs an officer to spend ninety seconds coaxing them to get out of their car?
Here is the crossing in Google Maps. The train left Greenville, headed north, a little less than an hour behind schedule. The accident delayed it for about five additional hours. The engine was P42 #6.