Two Killed in Orange County, North Carolina as Amtrak Train Hits Car | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Two people were killed as an Amtrak train was making its way from Charlotte to New York slammed into a car at an Orange County, North Carolina railroad crossing.

According to NC Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeff Gordon, the car was in the process of crossing the railroad tracks in the town of Elfland, North Carolina Tuesday morning when it was struck by the train. The woman driving was killed along with a 5 year old boy who was thrown from the back seat. The trooper also reported that a 3 month old girl was pulled from the wreckage and taken to UNC hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Tracy Connell, an Amtrak spokesperson indicated that none or the 215 passengers on the “Carolinian” passenger train were hurt as the route was delayed for approximately two hours.

Did you know that many railroad crossings are unguarded and even those with lights and gates may malfunction?  You can imagine how a tragic event such as the one that occurred in Elfland might have been prevented, if there was a malfunction of electronic lights or gates. Our heart goes out to the young woman and child who lost their lives today. We pray that the infant survives the wreck. Railroad crossing accidents involving a train can easily cause devestation. When a train hits a typical motor vehicle, whether it’s a car, truck or SUV, the end result is usually catastrophic.

We recommend that whether or not there are active lights and gates, that you never cross a railroad crossing without slowing to get a clear view in both directions.  Sometimes, when a car driver knows that a crossing has active lights and gates, the driver may purposefully assume that the crossing is safe to cross.  We do not yet know if this is what occurred in this case but the NTSB or Federal Railroad Administation will investigate this crossing death case.