Copiah Co. railroad crossing has deadly history

Copiah Co. railroad crossing has deadly history

COPIAH COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - More details are emerging following a deadly train versus car collision in Copiah County -- and the dangerous history at that intersection.

The victim who died has been identified as 32-year-old Carey Nicks. A passenger injured and airlifted to the hospital is identified as 33-year-old Victor Jenkins.

deadly copiah railroad crossing
deadly copiah railroad crossing (Source: david kenney)

Thursday’s deadly train crash brought back a flow of emotions for the family of Alonzo Minter, who died in a wreck at the very same intersection in 2010.

Willie Green, who lost a cousin at the intersection said, “Very very sad. It’s a disgrace of loss of life here at this railroad crossing, when it simply could be corrected by a few mechanical devices.”

The intersection, now named Alonzo’s Crossing, was dedicated with a flashing yellow light back in 2010... but the crashes keep happening.

Alonzo’s older brother Daniel Minter is discouraged that the railroad hasn’t put in a safety device.

“We should have had gates or arms down after Alonzo’s death, because there are five other families that lost members," he said. "I want to send a message to the Canadian Railroad: ‘How many fatalities does it take you to get in your head we need this?’”

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there have been seven deadly accidents at the Hartley Crossing since 1986.

“It looks like we’re going to have to have some arms or something. They’re going to have to address something here,” said Sheriff Harold Jones.

Residents say they will continue to plea to the railroad to put up crossing arms, in efforts to save lives at this crossing, that has taken too many.

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