Updated:KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. —
A train barreled into a tractor-trailer that was carrying cotton in Kings Mountain on Friday morning.
There have been several similar wrecks at the crossing in the past few years.
The driver and passenger in the truck involved in Friday’s crash jumped out before the collision and weren’t injured. Bales of cotton from the truck went everywhere in the crash.
The crew at Clark's Tire said they ran to warn the driver and passenger seconds before the crash.
“The arms came down and they were still in the truck, trying to get it off,” witness Rusty Albright said.
In the past 10 years, trains have hit five trucks that have gotten stuck on the incline and can’t make it over the track. There are even more cases that didn't end with a crash.
“A flatbed truck got stuck there 5:30 yesterday, too,” witness Kevin Harlow said.
The mayor is at his wit's end.
“If truckers would just obey the signage we wouldn't have this,” Mayor Rick Murphrey said. “We are just frustrated.”
On Friday, the mayor met with the city manager and city attorney and decided to close the Oak Street crossing temporarily. They will have to hold a public hearing next month to try and shut it down permanently.
But that could create another issue.
“We don't want the same problem to come down to Gold Street and Mountain Street,” Murphrey said.
Those two crossings are in the heart of the business district.