Man unharmed after train accident thanks to other drivers

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A Moss Point man is lucky to be alive after his car was hit by a train Thursday morning. Police say if it were not for the other drivers in front of 84-year-old Richard McGovern it may have been a whole different story.

Malissia Hearndon was driving the car directly in front of McGovern.

"I glanced over to my left and noticed, oh my gosh, there was a train coming," Hearndon said.

"Then the wind horn started blowing and you could hear the train trying to stop."

She said she was terrified because her car was pinned. There were two cars in front of her at the red light, and McGovern behind her on the tracks.

"All I could think of was we were going to get involved and possibly be seriously injured or killed."

Heardon and other drivers inched up as much as they could to try and give McGovern some room. He pulled up some but could not get all the way off the tracks.

"It was a tremendous, loud sound," Hearndon said.

"The whole back end of his car just exploded and his bumper flew over us."

Luckily McGovern was able to pull up enough that the train just clipped the back bumper, leaving him shaken up but unharmed.

"The angle the train hit the car was actually probably about the best part it could have hit, it did a 360 in the road and there was no injuries, it was incredible," said Pascagoula Police Department Sergeant Terry Scott.

If you go to the intersection it won't take you long to spot cars stopping on the tracks. Police want to make it clear it is never ok to stop on the tracks.

"It put him at a bad spot while stopped at the light, the train starts coming," Scott said.

"He didn't pass crossing arms or anything. You are supposed to stop 15 feet back on the road tracks so you need to treat it like any other intersection."

Unfortunately this is not the first accident at this railroad crossing but Scott hopes it will be the last.

"Eventually when construction is complete MDOT, will shut down that part of the tracks there and you won't be crossing there and that will help."

If you ever find yourself stuck on the tracks when a train is coming, Scott said it is always best to get out of the car if you can.

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