A child and his mother were killed this morning when their car was struck by a train at an Oxford crossing.
Seven-year-old Nytavioun Powell and his mother, Temeshica Chatman, 35, of Oxford were crossing the railroad tracks on Coleman Road behind Lamar’s Donuts in Oxford shortly before 6:30 a.m. today when the crash occurred, according to Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown.
Both were thrown from the 2006 Pontiac Grand Am when the train struck the car, Brown said.
Chatman was pronounced dead at the scene, and her son Powell was pronounced dead at Regional Medical Center in Anniston later this morning, Brown said.
The driver of the car, Chatman’s 20-year-old daughter, Taneshya Chatman, was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham with life-threatening injuries, said Oxford Police chief Bill Partridge.
Chatman was still being treated there Saturday afternoon. A person who answered the phone at UAB Saturday said the hospital only gives out information on a patient’s condition with approval from family.
No one on the Norfolk Southern train was injured in the accident, Brown said.
According to Partridge, the crossing bars and flashing warning lights were working when police arrived at the scene, but he declined to say under what conditions the crash occurred, citing an ongoing investigation.
Regardless of the cause of the crash, the devastation it created is a tragic reminder for motorists to use extreme caution while driving across train tracks, Partridge said.
When drivers rush to cross the tracks as a train approaches, they don’t realize they’re risking their lives to shave a few minutes off their commute, he said.
According to the chief, it has been more than a decade since an Oxford resident has died in a similar crash at a train crossing.