Police cite woman whose car was struck by train - CBS46 News

Police cite woman whose car was struck by train

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Only CBS Atlanta News has new details about a dangerous railroad crossing in Douglas County where a train collided with a car on Tuesday.  

The driver, a 71-year-old woman, said bystanders saved her life by keeping her from going back into her car to retrieve her purse.

The Douglasville chief of police said it's a problem railroad crossing and they've seen more than 20 cars get stuck on the tracks.    

Now the survivor from Tuesday's accident said Norfolk Southern needs to fix it before someone is killed.

"I saw the train staring at me in my eyes," said Narvis Penson, who recalled the terrifying ordeal. "I said, 'oh my God, here comes a train!'"

Penson is still shaken up - she got out of her car minutes before the crash and bystanders kept her from going back to get her purse.

Like nearly two dozen other drivers in the past, Penson's wheels fell into a nearly 6-inch gap between the asphalt and railroad ties.

"For me to be stuck on the track and can't move, can't move my car and I looked up and all the way down the track I could see a train coming," said Penson. "I know that I couldn't get off that track."

CBS Atlanta News has warned Norfolk Southern for nearly a year about the problem crossing, and even Douglasville Police Chief Chris Womack said it's time for a better fix.

"I'm by no means a roadway engineer but it looks like a simple fix and it doesn't look like a high-dollar fix," said Womack.

A complete redesign is scheduled for 2014 for the crossing including a railway overpass, but Penson's daughter, Lanoris Fleming, worries someone could get hurt before then.

"When other people are going across and they don't know nothing about it, it could happen to them too," said Fleming.

Penson said God watched over her on Tuesday, and now she has strong words for Norfolk Southern.

"They need to fix it," said Penson. "I could have been dead."

Adding insult to injury, Penson was cited by police for obstructing a railroad crossing - her court date is Feb. 13.

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