Thursday, September 3, 2009
Woman killed in train/car collision
By SUE WATSON
Linah Luana Muhammed Young, 21, of Mattie Drive in Byhalia, was killed Sunday in a collision with a westbound train, according to Marshall County Coroner James Richard Anderson.
The accident occurred at 1:51 p.m. August 30 and Anderson pronounced Young dead on the scene at 2:48 p.m., he said.
Young was driving northbound on North Fuller Street when she tried to cross the track, Anderson said.
“She was trying to cross the track and one train had gone through, moving off slowly, and there was a line of cars with Young kind of on the tail-end of the line,” Anderson said. “There was another train coming through, also headed west, and her car was struck on the passenger side and dragged 249 feet from the point of impact to rest.”
Anderson said the train came to a stop about three-quarters of the length of a football field from Fuller Street.
The 2003 Chevy Malibu came to rest between two tracks and between the Highway 309 and Fuller Street intersections, he said.
Anderson said the first train had moved over to the north track and the engine of the train that collided with Young’s vehicle stopped at Shinault Road. The first train also came to a stop after the conductor heard of the accident, he said.
Byhalia Police Chief Gary Looney said he believes the first train had stopped on the North track, had cleared the Highway 309 and Fuller Street crossings and was waiting for the second train to pass on the main track when the accident occurred.
Looney could only speculate about whether Young noticed the second train at all.
The last fatality on the tracks in Byhalia was in October 18, 2008, when two people were killed at the Highway 309 crossing when trying to go around the crossing bars which were down with traffic stopped in both directions.
Before that, a gravel truck was struck by a train at the Fuller Street crossing in 2000, he said.
Looney said Young could have seen the first train move off and could have believed the tracks were clear and not have seen the second train.
“People need to take that extra second at these crossings and look in both directions - stop, look and listen and make sure it is clear,” Looney said. “It’s better to arrive late than to never get there. It is an unfortunate accident.”
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