COPIAH COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Two people were killed in a train crash in Copiah County on Sunday.
According to Sheriff Byron Swilley, the crash happened around 7:26 p.m at Hartley Lane Railroad Crossing in Crystal Springs.
The sheriff didn’t release additional details on what happened, but he identified the victims as 38-year-old Lori D. Jackson and 35-year-old Kenya Brown Wilson.
“I love her so much, and we’re going to miss her. We’re going to miss her,” said Kenya Brown’s father Ramond Brown.
The crossing has come over the years to be known as a deadly one in Crystal Springs. Kenya Brown and Lori Jackson were headed home when their vehicle was hit by a train.
Neither survived, leaving their families to wonder why.
After decades of deadly accidents at the Hartley Lane crossing and years of begging for better safety measures there, they still had to lose those they loved at what’s known now as “Alonzo’s Crossing,” named for Alonzo Minter, who was killed there in 2010.
Kenya’s sister-in-law Sabrina Stubbs and god-sister Michelle Harris, and Lori Jackson’s cousin Joseph Buckner gathered at the scene of the crash this afternoon. They talked about their loved ones, but also about those safety gates that they say should have been there already.
“It’s been approved, like last year," said Harris.
“It’s something that should have been done. How many more times we gotta lose family members out of this community to get it fixed?” said Buckner.
“We don’t want to lose no one else,” Stubbs said.
Copiah County Emergency Operations Center Director Randle Drane said his understanding is that there are financial holdups in getting the crossing blockades put up. But, he said, everyone needs to do their part in making the intersection safer.
“It’s unnecessary loss of life and we all have a responsibility to ourselves and to the public. So we’ve all just got to do what we’ve got to do to make it safe to try and do it the best we can to make it safe,” he said.
Until then, it’s just a matter of time, the families say. Everyone in that community has had a near miss with the train at Alonzo’s Crossing.
The families have asked fellow Mississippians to keep them in prayer, as well as their community.