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94-year-old woman, daughter killed by train in Heflin

Heflin Train fatality

The scene of a train accident that caused the death of two pedestrians near Church and Oxford streets in Heflin. 

HEFLIN — A 94-year-old woman and her daughter were killed after being struck by a train Easter morning in Heflin, Cleburne County Coroner Adam Downs said.

Annie Beatrice Phillips and her daughter Debra Faye Johnson, both of Heflin, were on the train tracks near the intersection of Church Avenue and Oxford Street on Sunday morning when an Amtrak train headed to Anniston rounded a curve.

“From what I have been told, it appeared that the older lady appeared to be sitting on the tracks,” Downs said. “It's possible that she had fallen, we don't know. The daughter was trying to help her up.”

Downs said the driver of the train hit the brakes upon seeing the two women but couldn't stop in time.

Downs said Phillips was born in February 1926, but he didn't have information about Johnson's age. The coroner said he was called to the scene at 10:23 a.m., though he didn't know the exact time of the incident.

Multiple train tracks run parallel to each other near the intersection of Church and Oxford, in a curving path. Roads run parallel to the tracks on both sides. Early Sunday afternoon, neighbors in nearby houses sat on their porches watching the stopped train, but all said they hadn't been told details of the accident.

Railway police at the scene said that only Heflin police could comment on the accident. Attempts to reach Heflin police Sunday afternoon were unsuccessful. 

Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.

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