A minor train wreck Wednesday likely left a driver — and possibly a train operator — a little shaken up, but there were no injuries.
Just before 11 a.m., the driver of a van owned by Lewis Color Inc. of Statesboro was driving on South College Street, approaching a railroad crossing near West Brannen Street, and apparently did not hear the warning whistle of the Georgia Southern Railways freight train, said Statesboro police Capt. Jared Akins.
The van driver apparently made a last ditch effort to stop, but the train and the side of the van collided.
Tommy Lewis, owner of Lewis Color, said the damage was relatively minor. Photos show part of the van’s metal siding peeled away, separating from the frame and leaving a hole in the side. The train was not damaged, he said.
Calls seeking comment from Georgia Southern Railways spokespersons were not returned Wednesday.
Statesboro Herald sales manager Shelby Cone witnessed the wreck, having just crossed the tracks before the collision.
She said the train was stopped as she passed but had begun to move as soon as she crossed, “blowing its whistle.”
“The vehicle behind me did not stop,” she said.
In her rearview mirror, she saw the train hit the van. After the slow-motion collision, the driver, who had not yet been identified in police reports as of Herald press time, “got out of the van, wearing headphones and holding his cellphone,” she said.
The driver of the van was issued a citation for failure to stop at a railway crossing, Akins said. Lewis said his employee went home after the accident but was not reported to be hurt.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.