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Train collides with wayward car; no one hurt

Police officers, railroad safety officers and emergency responders investigate an early afternoon train-car collision in downtown Hazlehurst on Monday.

A Canadian National freight train struck a small vehicle that had rolled down a hill from a Ragsdale Avenue parking lot in downtown and came to rest on the railroad tracks around 1:50 today, Monday, March 21, 2011.

The car was discovered on the tracks around 1:45 p.m just a few hundred feet south of the bridge and north of the Frost Street crossing by an employee of the Courier.  Staff members of the Courier notified a passing police officer, and the officer immediately called in a response.

Shortly after, a Canadian National freight train rounded the northern bend approximately 1/2 mile above the bridge in downtown.  The officers were able to warn the engineer, who applied the brakes well in advance of contact with the vehicle.  The engineer was able to only slightly strike the sedan, gently removing it from the tracks, before stopping a few dozen feet past the impact area.

The car belonged to an unidentified woman who was visiting a local church.  The vehicle’s parking brake malfunctioned and slide about 12 feet down the embankment before coming to rest on the railroad tracks.

Because of quick action by one employee of an area business and that of the officers and train engineer, no one was injured.

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