A collision between a Norfolk Southern train and a vehicle Christmas Eve in Philadelphia left two people dead.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Randall Martin reported Cleo Emerson, 71, and Robert Gibson, 70, were killed on impact when their 2000 Chevrolet Trailblazer crossed the railroad tracks and was hit on the driver’s side. The vehicle overturned off the roadway into a shed on private property.
The incident occurred at the southern crossing between Spring Street and Washington Pike. Loudon County E-911 Center dispatch said the call came in at 12:06 p.m. Dec. 24.
THP requested a test for the involvement of alcohol and/or narcotics, but the results have not been released.
“The general merchandise train was en route from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Roanoke, Va., when the incident occurred,” Rachel McDonnell Bradshaw, Norfolk Southern media relations manager, said. “Norfolk Southern assisted local law enforcement in investigating the incident.”
Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, Loudon County Fire & Rescue, Philadelphia Volunteer Fire Department and Priority Ambulance responded to the scene. The investigation was conducted by THP and Norfolk Southern.
“It’s certainly a tragic thing to happen, especially at this time of the year with a double fatality,” Tim Guider, Loudon County sheriff, said.
The crossing is adequately equipped with crossbucks, lights, bells and pavement markings, Bradshaw said.
“At Northfolk Southern, the safety of our employees and the communities we serve is our No. 1 priority,” she said. “Norfolk Southern advises motorists and pedestrians to stay alert around railroad tracks and to be mindful of all warning signs and signals at railroad crossings.”