• GDOT worker killed in accident with train identified

    By: Tom Regan


    COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - A Georgia Department of Transportation worker was killed in an accident with a CSX train in Coweta County, sheriff officials said.

    The accident happened at the intersection of Railroad Street and Bethlehem Church Road in Moreland Thursday morning.

    Authorities said the salt truck and another truck were moving onto the railroad crossing that has no signal or cross arms. The smaller truck got through, but the salt truck driver did not. 

    The train engineer couldn't stop in time. 

    CSX released a statement saying that one of its trains bound for Atlanta hit the truck on the tracks.

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    The Coweta County sheriff's department told Channel 2 Action News that the worker was killed.

    The victim was identified as 60-year-old Carey Byron Ellerbee of Thomaston.

    "To have such a tragedy happen to one of their crew members, our heart goes out to them from Coweta County Fire and Rescue," Coweta County Fire Chief Pat Wilson said. 

    Witnesses said the impact was so powerful, it shook their homes.

    "The first thing I thought was the train was coming through my house," Vicki Gann said.


    State investigators are looking into the cause of the collision. 

    None of the crew members on the train were injured. 

    Gann said she was inspired by Ellerbee's family when they arrived at the scene. 

    "The faith and strength in her, the Lord gave her, was amazing. I was so thankful. I was so grateful to witness something like that in such a tragedy," she said. 

    Georgia State Patrol said there was "no known mechanical issues" with the vehicle.

    Read the full CSX statement below:

    "At approximately 9:00 a.m. today, a CSX train bound for Atlanta struck a Georgia Department of Transportation truck on the tracks at Bethlehem Church Road in Moreland, Ga. Coweta County emergency personnel and Georgia State Patrol responded to the scene and reported that the driver of the GDOT truck was fatally injured. CSX extends its deepest sympathies to the family of the driver and to our transportation colleagues at GDOT. CSX personnel are working on site with state troopers as they investigate. None of the four crew members on the train were hurt. The train consists of two locomotives, 55 loaded rail cars, and two empty rail cars."

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