GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A semitrailer driver narrowly escaped injury Tuesday afternoon when his truck, which was stuck on the railroad tracks, was split in two by a speeding train.
The collision happened on Holcomb Bridge Road in downtown Norcross.
Railroad crews were still inspecting the tracks where the collision occurred. Channel 2's Tony Thomas saw half of the car carrier that was split in two by the train. Debris went flying, even hitting one of the buildings across the street.
The speeding Norfolk Southern Train sliced through the car carrier, leaving two smashed cars, including a brand-new Mercedes and a Cadillac on one side of the tracks and four other vehicles, including a pickup, damaged on the other side. No one was hurt but traffic and trains were snarled for hours.
"We watched it just like watching a big-screen TV," said Wayne Epps.
Across the street, Epps and his employees spotted the truck several minutes ahead of the impact and called Norfolk Southern's dispatch, trying to stop any oncoming train. It was too late.
"We thought we had, but about four or five minutes after the call we heard the train whistle and the bars came down and we knew it was going to hit," Epps said.
Police say the driver of the rig owns it. He said his insurance company wouldn't let him talk. Norcross' police chief is just amazed no one was injured in the impact.
"Fortunately, it's raining today, because normally this parking lot would have been full of cars and probably people, too, coming in and out of here at lunchtime," said Chief Warren Summers.