Train strikes SUV, killing mother of three

Officials prepare to move an SUV from the railroad tracks after a train struck it Saturday afternoon at the Johnston Station crossing.

A Summit woman died when a train stuck the SUV she was driving across an unprotected railroad crossing at Johnston Station on Saturday afternoon.

Authorities said Jelisha Antrice Brumfield, a mother of three, died at the scene of the wreck, which occurred just before 4:30. Sheriff’s officials said at the scene that she was returning home from work in Brookhaven when the accident occurred. She was the only occupant in the SUV.  

A southbound CN Railroad train with 104 cars and two engines struck the small gray SUV, which was headed east at the Johnston Station Road railroad crossing.

The train pushed the car about 450 feet south of the intersection, near the midpoint of the Johnston Station crossing and the Dixie Springs Road crossing.

Officials at the scene said the freight conductor said the train was going a little less than 40 mph at the time of the wreck.

The crossing where the wreck occurred has no flashing lights or crossarms, only a sign warning motorists that they are approaching railroad tracks.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, there are about 128,000 railroad crossings in the U.S., about a third of which have gates and flashing lights.

Mississippi ranked 15th in the nation in wrecks and fatalities at railroad crossings in 2019, with 52 accidents reported, killing 10 people and injuring 54, according to Operation Lifesaver.

Louisiana was ranked No. 7, with 97 wrecks, but just six fatalities and 36 injuries.

States prioritize crossing improvements based on vehicle and train  traffic, the types of vehicles using the crossing and the safety record of the crossing, according to Union Pacific.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation has closed rather than upgraded crossings in Pike County after fatal train wrecks. State officials closed the unprotected Nehi Circle crossing in south McComb after three children died when a train hit their car in October 2009 and another between Robb and Meadville streets in Summit after a couple died when their vehicle was hit in the 1980s.

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