Purvis teen dies in truck-train wreck

Published 7:19 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Residents here want state officials to install crossing guards at a railroad intersection where a Purvis teenager was killed over the weekend.

Thomas Adam Jones Jr., 16, was the second person killed in a train-auto collision in a month when his pickup truck was hit Saturday by an Amtrak passenger train, said Forrest County Deputy Coroner Jonathan Nobles.

Further details of the accident were not available. The Forrest County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

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The Eastabuchie Road intersection was the scene of a similar wreck on Sept. 27 in which Charles Andrew Sumrall, 20, was killed.

A third accident occurred at the intersection on March 22 when a 65-year-old Forrest County man was seriously injured when a northbound freight train struck his car.

After the September accident, officials agreed to install warning lights and a crossing guard at the intersection, but said installation wouldn’t be complete for eight months to a year. The intersection only has a railroad crossing sign now.

“I think this is an emergency now,” said Jena Blackburn, who works at a convenience store near the railroad intersection. “We’ve had two deaths in … a month.”

Blackburn said she plans to try to unite the community and ask Amtrak to either speed up the process for getting crossing arms or divert trains until the work can be done.