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Train Slams Into Marta Bus In Decatur

Nobody was hurt in the 6:30 a.m. collision at the McDonough Street grade crossing.

Nobody was injured early Wednesday morning when a CSX train collided with a Marta bus that apparently stalled on the McDonough Street grade crossing.

Decatur Police Capt. Scott Richards said the bus was heading south on McDonough Street toward Agnes Scott College and stalled on the track about 6:30 a.m.

The bus driver and four passengers got off before the train slammed into the side of the bus, Cara Hodgson, spokeswoman for Marta, said in an email. The bus was operating on Route 123, she said.

"MARTA is in the process of conducting a full investigation. We’ll provide more details as soon as we have them," she said.

Gary Sease, a spokesman for CSX, said the train was going from Augusta to Atlanta when the collision occurred. He said train was mixed freight and included three locomotives and 69 cars. CSX is also investigating.

The area around Decatur High was closed to traffic for several hours, so authorties recommended drivers, cyclists and pedestrians seek alternative routes.

Decatur High altered the exam schedule because students were expected to be late, according to an email sent to parents.

The train pushed the bus into a crossing signal that toppled to the ground. After the bus was removed late Wednesday morning, authorities closed the intersection for traffic while track repairs were made. The closure was expected to last about 24 hours.

This is the second wreck at the McDonough Street crossing in 15 months. In February 2012, a train struck a car there. Nobody was badly injured.

Previous Patch stories about auto-train collisions:

Train hits car in February 2012.

Patch Poll: What's the worst train crossing in Decatur?

Diane Loupe May 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM
DHS advises those driving to school to not use the W. Howard entrance, to drop off students blocks away from school, and will delay the exam schedule today.
Diane Loupe May 22, 2013 at 01:00 PM
From DHS Principal: Due to the train wreck, we recognize the potential for tardies this morning. Therefore, we have modified the exam schedule for today. We'll have the same periods and exams, just changed the times. Thanks!! Wednesday, May 22nd 4th Period -8:30-10:00 2nd Period exam-10:05-12:05 5th Period 12:10-1:25 1st Lunch 12:10-12:35 2nd Lunch 12:35-1:00 3rd Lunch 1:00-1:25 3rd Period exam -1:30-3:30 Lauri McKain Decatur High School | Principal 310 N. McDonough St. | Decatur GA 30030 (404) 370-4420 x111 | lmckain@csdecatur.net http://decaturhighprincipal.blogspot.com/
Steve May 22, 2013 at 01:21 PM
The auto that was in the collision a while back was stopped on the crossing illegally. What should be done is that people should obey the law.
BP May 22, 2013 at 02:48 PM
The CSX head honcho bought a $2.7 million second house last year along with a $10 million plus salary. The equipment which has been available for decades (video surveillance) wasn't installed on the tracks to know what was coming up on the tracks ahead of the train because? Talking about a public hazard OUR GOVERNMENT allows.
George Orwell May 22, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Is it your belief that if the CEO of CSX had made a few dollars less, that money could/would have instead been spent to install video equipment on this exact crossing and prevented this accident? That's quite a stretch. How is it that MARTA buses have crossed this intersection for years, but today this one got "stuck"?
Ralph Ellis May 22, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Thanks, Diane!

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