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Car hit by train in West Point

A car was struck by a commercial CSX train at about 9 p.m. Wednesday night in West Point, according to West Point Police Department Captain Robert Fawley.

Authorities say the vehicle was traveling west on West 7th Street when the driver made a sharp right turn on the railroad tracks and bottomed out.

Fawley said the occupants of the vehicle tried for a few seconds to remove themselves and the car from the tracks and were unsuccessful.

Eventually, the two individuals, along with their dog, were able to get out of the line of impact. Fawley said there was only about a minute between the vehicle getting stuck and the train hitting it.

Police say traffic in the Greater Valley Area was detoured to South I-85 for about an hour and a half.

Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks, provides several tips for individuals driving near railroad tracks.

    Trains and cars don’t mix, so don’t race a train to the crossing.

    A train that a person can see is closer and moving faster than a person would think, so wait for it to pass.

    Trains can’t stop quickly, so even if the engineer sees a person, it can take more than a mile to stop if it’s moving 55 mph.

    Never drive around lowered gates because it’s illegal and deadly.

    Do not get trapped on the tracks. A driver should only proceed through a crossing if they can clear the tracks without stopping.

For more tips about driving near railroad intersections, visit oli.org.