Houston & Peach

‘The train was coming and I was in a dead run,’ Warner Robins business owner says

Witness saves semi-truck stuck on railroad tracks from collision

Michelle Harrison, officer manager at Ross & Son Solid Surface Fabrication, took video of the removal of a semi-truck stuck on the railroad tracks at Green Street and Ga. 247 as a train was coming Thursday morning.
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Michelle Harrison, officer manager at Ross & Son Solid Surface Fabrication, took video of the removal of a semi-truck stuck on the railroad tracks at Green Street and Ga. 247 as a train was coming Thursday morning.

Mike Ross was coming down the front steps of his Green Street business when he saw the semi-truck stuck on the railroad tracks Thursday morning.

Ross, owner of Ross & Son Solid Surface Fabrication, knew that 10 to 12 Norfolk Southern Railway trains travel the tracks daily.

He’d also witnessed a train take out a front end loader on a trailer that was stuck on the tracks about a year earlier at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Ga. 247.

Ross, though he was not identified by name, was credited by Warner Robins police through Facebook and Twitter with saving the day and averting a collision between the train and the truck.

“I dialed 911 and was very short and very loud on what needed to be done,” said Ross, who said he went immediately into emergency mode as he ran toward the semi-truck.

A 911 operator called Norfolk Southern and the railroad company reached the train engineer, who quickly applied the brakes.

Meanwhile, Ross raced to Ga. 247 to warn motorists of the impending danger.

“The train was coming and I was in a dead run,” he said.

Ross said he learned that the northbound train was less than 10 minutes out, or about 1.5 miles away, from where the semi-truck was hung up on the tracks at Green Street and Ga. 247.

He could hear the train coming.

“When it stopped about 30 yards from where I was, it was a sigh of relief.”

The tracks at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Ga. 247 as well as Watson and Ga. 247 had been blocked by the stopped train.

Warner Robins police posted about the near collision on Facebook.

“Talk about a close call! A collision was avoided thanks to the fast thinking of an employee at a nearby custom counter top shop who called 911 so they could notify the Train company of the stuck semi truck!,” the post said.

Assistant Chief John Wagner tweeted this with a thumbs up, “Kudos to the gentleman that called 911 about the semi on the track train bearing down. You averted certain disaster. Engineer too!”

“All I did was get things moving,” said Ross, who praised 911 operators, Warner Robins police and the train engineer. “Everybody else did an awesome job.”

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser

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