One woman was transported to the hospital after she drove her van into the path of an oncoming train Friday morning in Havelock.
The collision took place around 9:30 a.m. where the tracks cross at Greenfield Heights Boulevard, Lake and Church roads and Miller Boulevard.
According to initial police reports, the woman was the lone person in a Dodge Caravan as she drove from Greenfield Heights Boulevard east toward Miller Boulevard. Initial reports indicate she had at least slowed if not stopped with the signal lights at the railroad crossing flashing, and then tried to proceed across the tracks.
The train engine, carrying at least two-dozen cars, some loaded with gravel, struck the front and driver’s side of the van. The van then careened into guard rails protecting one of the railroad crossing signals.
The train, which did not derail, continued down the track about 300 yards before it could stop.
The van had heavy damage to the front and driver’s side, broken glass and a large dent in the driver’s side door.
The woman, whose name has not been released, did not have life-threatening injuries, according to initial reports. She was conscious at the scene and transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern. Her condition was not immediately available.
Police officers and rescue personnel rushed to the scene, jumping between the cars of the stopped train to reach the victim. Co-workers and family members of the woman also arrived at the scene to check on her and gather materials from the van.
The intersection was blocked for about 20 minutes as rescue personnel worked at the scene. Eventually, the train was backed up, and Norfolk-Southern Railroad officials arrived and began an investigation, which included a check to determine that the crossing signals were working. They also examined the train and its cars for any damage.
Havelock police are investigating.