HAHIRA, GA. – June 4, 2018 (walb.com) According to an online news report by walb.com, a railroad crossing in Hahira, Georgia, where a rail worker was killed earlier this year is reopening, despite concerns of the community and the owner of railroad.*
In February 2018, 48-year-old C&S Rail Services worker Dexter Brown was driving a dump truck on Lawson Street in Hahira and failed to yield to an oncoming train at the Lawson Street crossing. The train hit the passenger’s side of his truck, and Brown was ejected from the vehicle. He sadly died on the scene.
Brown’s death was one of several accidents to occur at the Lawson Street rail crossing throughout the years, and it prompted residents to address safety issues with the Hahira City Council. In addition, the owner of the railroad at Lawson Street, Norfolk Southern Railroad Company, petitioned the City to permanently close the crossing, offering $40,000 as incentive for the closure.
The City Council held an open session for members of the public to speak but ultimately rejected Norfolk Southern’s offer. The City said it wanted to leave the decision up to the Georgia Department of Transportation but also wanted the crossing to remain open for city access and city growth reasons.
The Lawson Street crossing remained temporarily closed while the Georgia DOT conducted an investigation. The Georgia DOT now wants to conduct a full safety study to come to a final decision about the fate of the crossing, during which the crossing needs to be open. For the time being, the crossing has been reopened, pending the findings of the DOT.
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