Scooba leaders say crossing gates could have prevented train crash

SCOOBA, Miss. (WTOK) - It's rare for a driver to get struck by a train and walk away with very little injury. That's what happened this morning in Scooba when a driver drove onto train tracks as a train approached and knocked it several feet over.

The crash highlights a sore spot for Kemper County authorities who say they’ve been trying to get crossing gates installed at the tracks for years.

"If the gate would’ve been there, he would've never did it, so we need to get a gate at this place,” said Ward 5 Alderman Rodney Woodard.

The driver was able to get out and even run away from the crash.

Mayor of Scooba, Craig Nave, said he has contacted the Mississippi Department of Transportation several times about the problem with no luck.

Although relieved that there isn't a fatality, Scooba alderman Rodney Woodard said he's upset that after trying for over three years, the city still hasn't received crossing gates for the tracks.

"We’ve been denied at every turn, we need to get some gates at this place so people can understand they need to stop, not try to run the lights,” said Woodard.

Kemper County Sheriff James Moore said the driver got medical attention and was released a short time later.

"You hear of a train crash with a vehicle…you're going to think that that's going to be a fatality,” said Moore. “We're very blessed today that that didn't happen.”

Leaders say they’re not giving up on getting the crossing gates.

"Hopefully we'll call a special board meeting so we can get everything rolling."

Newscenter 11 was unable to get in touch with MDOT’S District Maintenance Engineer for a comment.