Two people were injured last week when an Amtrak train hit their car in Four Oaks. They were treated at a hospital and released.
Christy Massengill, 43, Four Oaks was crossing the tracks on North Baker Street just after 2 p.m. on Monday when a passenger train hit her 2011 Mercury sedan, Four Oaks Police Chief Stephen Anderson said. Nickie Smith, a 32-year-old man from Kenly, was also in the car.
The Amtrak train was traveling an estimated 77 miles per hour when it struck the car, Anderson said. That speed is close to the track’s limit of 79 mph, he said.
Massengill and Smith were taken separately to WakeMed and Johnston Health, Anderson said, although he did not know who went where. By Wednesday night, both had been released from care, he said.
“I think it’s just a blessing, period, that they survived that type of crash,” Anderson said.
Four Oaks police will now investigate whether the railroad crossing’s arms were down at the time of the collision, Anderson said. Witnesses reported that the arms were down, and Massengill drove around them, he said. Police are waiting on video evidence to continue their investigation.
The police could charge Massengill with a crime if they determine she drove around the protective arm rails, Anderson said.
The collision drove Massengill’s car into a utility pole and nearly broke it in half, Anderson said. CSX Transportation owned the pole, Anderson said, and railroad workers had it replaced by the end of the day.
Authorities shut part of North Baker Street for about an hour, Anderson said.
The train, the Amtrak Palmetto, was carrying 124 passengers from Savannah, Ga., to New York City, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.
None of the passengers or crew reported injuries, Woods said, and the train resumed its journey at about 2:45 p.m.
Amtrak will cooperate with the local authorities during their investigation, Woods said.