GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — An Uber driver is dead after his SUV got stuck and was hit by an oncoming train. A passenger was able to escape but the driver was killed.
The crash happened on Peachtree Street in Duluth, right in front of the Gwinnett County Public Library.
Channel 2′s Tony Thomas obtained cellphone video of the incident which shows the driver start to cross the train tracks when the warning lights come on and the gates go down.
The driver, Guangyun Jin, 39, tried to do a U-turn but went off the pavement and got stuck.
The impact knocked the car about a hundred yards that way and down the embankment.
“My heart dropped, and I knew there was going to be an impact,” Jacob Kramer said about witnessing the crash.
The crash happened right before sunrise Thursday. In the video, you can just make out the passenger in the SUV running for safety.
About 14 seconds later, the train hit Jin’s SUV.
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“I think he panicked and tried to make a U-turn and went on the tracks instead and off the road,” Kramer said.
“The passenger saw the train coming and told the driver, ‘I’m out of here,’ or in some words like that,” Officer Ted Sadowski with the Duluth Police Department said.
Karen Harris was prepping food at the Rexall Grille down the street when she heard the impact.
“I was inside, and I heard a bang,” Harris said.
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She looked out to find the mangled SUV halfway down an embankment.
A hundred yards or so from where it was hit. The train didn’t appear to be damaged and was allowed to leave a short time later.
Norfolk Southern crews spent the day inspecting and repairing the tracks.
Kramer spent the time trying not to think about what he witnessed.
“It sounded like an analogy, if you go over your car with a Coke can. Your car is like a Coke can to the train.”
The tracks are now open and operational once again.
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