GROTTOES, Va. (WHSV) -- We're learning more about the Grottoes man who was hit by a train while trying to cross the tracks.
Going around the gates is a risk that can often turn out to be deadly.
Chief John Painter with Grottoes Police said breaking the tragic news to family is the hardest part of his job following deadly accidents.
"We actually go to their house and talk to them in person. That is probably the worst thing I've ever had to do with this job," the chief explained.
It's hard to believe that the 49-year-old man involved in this crash survived.
The chief says the train that destroyed his truck on Thursday was going 46 miles per hour.
It's accidents like this that drive Operation Lifesaver to warn people about the dangers of railroad crossings.
"Every time I come to a crossing, I think about incidents that I've heard of or personally known somebody involved with," shared Carol Steckbeck with Operation Lifesaver.
Fortunately, it's a crash that doesn't happen often here in the Valley.
This is the first one the chief has dealt with in 12 years on the force.
If you do get stuck on the tracks, there's usually a phone number posted on the cross bucks to let you know who to call so that you can avoid getting killed. That's something the chief says the driver of this truck came very close to.
"He is very lucky to be alive,” concluded Chief Painter.
The chief says the man who was hit, Dwight Miller, is out of the hospital with stitches in his head. He is charged with reckless driving for going around those gates.
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