Driver exits SUV moments before train collision in Ashland

Local News

ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — Ashland police responded to a collision involving a train and a vehicle Wednesday morning.

Police arrived on the scene at 10:27 a.m., at the intersection of N. Center St. and Henry Clay Rd. An early investigation revealed that an SUV was traveling southbound on N. Center St. and attempted to U-turn at the railroad crossing. That’s when the vehicle became lodged on the tracks.

The driver was able to exit the SUV before the train struck the vehicle.

Hanover County firefighters evaluated the driver for minor injuries. The driver refused transportation to the hospital. The driver was issued a summons for disregarding a railroad crossing signal.

Still, residents say they’ve seen too many close calls on the train tracks in Ashland. While no one was seriously hurt this time, residents worry that next time, there could be a more severe outcome.

“I can’t believe it happened again,” said Mike Clark, who works in Ashland. “It’s only been a week and a half.”

Clarks works at Origin Beer Lab, near the train tracks and says incidents are becoming a common occurrence. 

“People just making bad judgment calls,” he said. 

Enoh Love, another Ashland resident, said “it’s a terrible thing when things like that happen. People just need to be more careful when traveling near train tracks.”

8News has covered previous close calls on the train tracks. But Clark believes that GPS is a contributing factor to the rise in accidents near the train tracks. 

“This side of the street is South Railroad Avenue, but GPS will show it as South Center Street,” he told 8News. “So a lot of times people will try to turn onto this street, but end up going the wrong way, so they’ll try to overcompensate, hit the tracks and get stuck.”

Residents of Ashland tell 8News they just want the area to be safer, without destroying the charm of the town. 

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