Chattanooga police are investigating an accident at 4400 Jersey Pike in which a car was hit by a train today. Police responded to the wreck around 3:30 pm after a woman called and said that her vehicle had gotten caught on the tracks, spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary said.
She said the driver told police that a train had just passed and the traffic arm raised to allow traffic across the tracks.
As she and two vehicles ahead of her proceeded across the tracks, the traffic arm descended behind her and she saw that another train was approaching. She said she tried to back up but there was traffic behind her and she was unable to go backward.
She then panicked and decided to abandon her vehicle on the tracks. It was subsequently struck by the passing train.
Officials are still investigating the incident to see if the traffic arm malfunctioned or if the crash was the result of driver error. No charges have been filed, Weary said.
Judy Walton has worked 25 years at the Chattanooga Times and the Times Free Press as an editor and reporter focusing on government coverage and investigations. At various times she has been an assistant metro editor, region reporter and editor, county government reporter, government-beat team leader, features editor and page designer. Originally from California, Walton was brought up in a military family and attended a dozen schools across the country. She earned a journalism degree ...