Groups of bystanders — some observing and others directing traffic around the tow truck obstructing the view of the road — gathered in front of the wreck site. The damaged car sat just south of the tracks, surrounded by vehicles belonging to Griffin Fire-Rescue and the Griffin Police Department.
Cedric Vaughn, the driver of the car, explained what had happened at about 2:45 p.m.
“I was driving over across these train tracks,” he said. “I let someone out when I came through.”
He received a call on his cell phone and looked down momentarily. When he looked up, he saw the train coming.
He put the car in reverse and tried to back off the tracks but was too late. The train struck the front of his car and slammed it into some metal poles near the crossing.
When Vaughn climbed out of his car, he fell out.
“I’m very happy to be alive,” Vaughn said. “A car can be replaced. Your life cannot.”
Battalion Chief Roger Slaughter of Griffin-Fire Rescue said the accident could have been worse.
“He’s a very lucky gentleman,” Slaughter said about Vaughn.
Officer Ricky Wallace of the Griffin Police Department said he did not know what charges, if any, would be filed since he had not finished his investigation.