ANDERSON — "It was like getting hit by, well ... a train."
That was the best way Jacob Denny could describe the experience Monday afternoon when his Mitsubishi Galant was smashed by a Norfolk Southern train at the intersection of Indiana Avenue and Vinyard Street. The accident happened about 3 p.m., compacting the rear and breaking out the windows of the vehicle. Though Denny was unharmed, he said he was definitely shaken up by the impact.
"I've rear-ended someone before. But that was at like, 5 miles per hour. I've never been in anything like this," said the 18-year-old Anderson resident.
Denny said he was heading north on Indiana Avenue, where the train tracks run staggered along the intersection with Vinyard Street. The intersection features a double stop on Indiana, one before the track and one on them.
The teen said he believed he was stopped where he needed to be, and was shocked by the driving impact on the train from behind. He said he heard no train horns and didn't see the flashing track lights because of the daylight. While he said the entire experience was "a rush," he was soon depressed about his car, which was later towed away.
"I was stopped at the intersection, and at two other stops there was a lowboy trailer and a truck. When I got hit, the train just started pushing me into the intersection, and at that point, I just wanted to make sure my car didn't hit anyone else," he said.
Officer Eric Holtzleiter, who responded to the accident, said the intersection is only dangerous when it isn't used the way it's designed. The initial stop is to ensure no trains are coming, and the second stop is for other oncoming vehicles. He said the track warning lights were functioning properly, and the train conductor did blow the horn several times before the accident.
Holtzleiter said Denny was lucky his vehicle was in gear because it allowed the wheels to move forward with the impact instead of sitting stationary.
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