Car hit by train, two dead

August 29, 2008 4:29:00 PM PDT
The car was hit by a train in eastern Johnston County around 10:40 a.m. Friday.The incident happened when a white Cadillac was struck by a train on a private dirt driveway east of Herring Road next to US-70, just west of Princeton and east of Pine Level.

Authorities say appeared the Cadillac was leaving a residence when it was struck on the passenger side by a long eastbound freight train. The train pushed the car an estimated a fourth of a mile from the point of impact.

Officials say two people were declared dead at the scene. Initial scanner traffic indicated that two people were pinned in a car, under a train.

A family friend of the victims says the two people who died were a husband and wife. They also say the couple's first and only child was in the car with the parents. They were on the way to the hospital for the newborn baby boy's first checkup when their car was hit by the train.

The surviving victim is less than a week old, according to a family friend.

Stacey Jones tells Eyewitness News he was late for work when he heard the screeching noise of a train from his home nearby.

He says he ran outside, saw the wreckage and saw the man and woman unresponsive. He says he noticed a car seat and hoped there wasn't a baby involved.

Jones says once others began arriving on scene, he walked along the train and its tracks and found the baby boy, who was according to him, bruised and scratched. The severity of the boy's injuries are not known.

The baby is believed to have been thrown 100 feet from the resting point of the wreckage. The infant was transported to Wake Med by an ambulance.

Pine Level, Princeton and Selma fire departments have been dispatched to the scene.

Authorities say the Norfolk Southern train was heading eastbound probably at a rate of speed of 17 to 20 mph. The train was carrying box cars full of coal.

There is no crossing arm at the intersection where the train hit the car.


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