Elderly driver hit by train in Athens: "I didn't see a thing"
By Jonquil Newland, Weekend Today Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
ATHENS, TN (WRCB) -
A train collides with a pickup truck Monday morning in Athens. The driver of the truck, Warren H. King, 70, walked away with just a cut and some bruises after his truck was pushed nearly 50 feet down the tracks.
"It was just an accident that I should of saw but I didn't see a thing," King explains.
Its hard to believe, looking at King's truck, that anyone could have walked away from an accident that severe nearly unharmed. However, the 70-year-old did, he says it just wasn't his time.
"Said well the good Lord was watching over me, my niece told me something like, or the Devil wasn't ready for him yet," laughs King. "I hadn't thought about that."
He can laugh about it now but it was a much different story Monday morning. King was driving back from feeding his dogs on the other side of the track. As he does every day, he stopped at the train tracks to make sure the coast was clear.
"Just stopped, I looked both ways up and down the track but when I looked down like always I didn't see a thing," says King. He stepped on the gas. "Next thing I know I was sliding up the track."
Luckily for him, the train collided into his truck's passenger side going about 35 MPH. "I heard the sound then just before it hit, the train itself. Then I was being pushed, then I watched the back window blow out," says King.
Witnesses, who feared his fuel tank may catch fire, helped King get out of his truck. That's when reality sunk in. "I sat over there and I saw my truck tore up, then I was scared, still scared," he says.
You can still see debris from King's truck and skid marks where the collision occurred. That railroad intersection does not have crossing bars but the city does not require it. Witnesses say the lights were flashing and the train whistle was blowing but King, who didn't see or hear it, says he's just thankful to live another day, albeit he's a bit sore from the crash.
"I sure wouldn't have pulled out there just to be doing something," says King.
The Athens Police Department says no charges will be filed since it is an accident. Police say there hasn't been an incident involving a train at that intersection for years.