Woman dies as car driven by grandson hit by train

May 13, 2011 - 11:00 PM

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say an 82-year-old woman died after her grandson drove around a stopped car at an Orangeburg rail crossing and their vehicle was struck by an oncoming train.

Investigators said the driver of a 1998 Nissan tried to beat the train and got stuck on the tracks as the Norfolk Southern train approached the crossing around 11 a.m. Friday.

Authorities say the driver managed to get out just before the train struck the car, but 82-year-old Susan Weatherford could not escape. She was killed as she was thrown from the vehicle as it was pushed 80 yards down the track.

The driver told WLTX-TV that he was not trying to beat the train. He says the car in front of him suddenly stopped and he ended up on the track when he swerved to avoid a collision. The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety says a preliminary investigation indicates driver error was the cause. An agency official could not be reached late Friday.