Victim's grandson describes frantic moments before train crash - - Columbia, South Carolina

Victim's grandson describes frantic moments before fatal train crash

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Source: Stephen Unekis Source: Stephen Unekis
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By Logan Smith

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - Officials say an 82-year-old woman is dead after her grandson's car got stuck on the tracks Friday morning.

Not everyone enjoys chauffeuring their relatives around town all the time, but for Jeremy Weatherford, it was all part of being a good grandson. "I took her to town almost every day she needed to go. We were like that," he said, crossing his fingers.

That's just what he was doing Friday when something went wrong. Just blocks away from his house, Jeremy says he turned a corner and had to swerve to avoid a car stopped at a railroad crossing. The near-miss sent Weatherford's car onto the tracks.

The train hit the driver's side of the vehicle and pushed it about 80 yards before coming to a stop. Weatherford was unable to get out of the car and was ejected, officials said. She died at the scene. "I was saying, she's got to be dead," said Jeremy. "She's got to be dead."

The accident is under investigation by the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Accident Reconstruction Team, and the preliminary investigation indicates that driver error was the main contributing factor for the accident, according to Adams.

"My plan was to just drive over the tracks and get out of there, but I couldn't do that because my wheels got stuck in the tracks," said Jeremy.

Officials have not said if charges will be filed in the incident. 

Jeremy says he's been asking himself what he could've done differently. "She's the matriarch of the family," he said. "She was there the day I was born."

And the two were together until the day she died.

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