A Bibb County man suffered life-threatening injuries when a train struck the used diesel truck he was driving in Smarr in Monroe County this morning.
Johnny Wynes, 71, was taken by helicopter to The Medical Center of Central Georgia, Monroe County Emergency Services spokesman Shane Cook said, where he is in stable condition. The train, which consisted of two engines and four box cars and was operated by Norfolk-Southern, derailed just beyond the crossing. Three engineers also were taken to a hospital as a precaution.
The accident happened at about 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Rumble Road and U.S. 41.
Cook said he spoke briefly on the phone with Wynes after he was hospitalized. Wynes told him that he stopped at the crossing but did not see or hear the train, Cook said. There are no gates at the crossing, which includes two parallel tracks. The track nearest Wynes was occupied by parked box cars extending up and down the track.
Wynes' truck was obliterated and largely unrecognizable. It leaked diesel fuel after being struck, but the spill had been contained by 1 p.m.
Tony Diaz, who witnessed the wreck while working on his mother’s house across the street from the crossing, said Wynes appeared to slow down as he approached the crossing but did not seem to see or hear the train.
“When he looked up, it was too late,” Diaz said.
The impact, he said, “sounded about like two sticks of dynamite.”
Another man working nearby, Dino Malloy, said he was the first to arrive on the scene. Wynes was trapped in the cab of his truck but remained conscious and talking, Malloy said.
“He was just letting me know that he was all right,” Malloy said. “I just told him to hang in there.”
Come back to macon.com for more on this developing story.