Neighbor Reacts to Train Collision

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. -- Virginia State Police said a train collision killed a 46-year-old woman when she was trying to leave her driveway to go onto Goose Creek Road. An Amtrak train going to Charlottesville hit Andrea Gum's SUV.

According to VSP, the SUV was thrown off the tracks and rolled several times. The engineer tried to stop the train, but could not do so in time.

Neighbor Barbara Miller said she has seen many close calls on Goose Creek Road.

"There has been several wrecks where people are going down the road here and either too fast and put the breaks on and slide off the road into the railroad tracks," said Miller. "But this is the first time that something horrible has happened."

The Virginia State Police said Gum was thrown from her SUV when it collided with the Amtrak train. Gum died at the scene.

"It made me feel horrible especially for that family and just thinking all the times that my mom felt with us going over there and trying to warn us about the train. But It's a sad situation," said Miller.

Miller knows all about this driveway because she used to live in Gum's house.

"They come fast, especially the Amtrak so when you are going up on the tracks, when you are first going up it's very hard to see. But when you get up there, you can definitely see on the tracks both ways," said Miller.

She said the only sound you can hear is the one coming from the train.

"If you have your radio on or something like that, you just don't hear it. I know several times, I went over and it just passed me afterwards. But you really have to pay attention because it comes fast," said Miller.

The only warning is a stop sign and a sign that reads "private railroad crossing, look." She said more needs to be done to warn people.

"It's at every other road that you have to go over a track. They should put one there too," said Miller.

The case is still under investigation. None of the 195 train passengers or the engineer was injured in the crash. The train only had a minor damage.


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