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franklin county times

Man dies in collision

By Staff
Bu Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
May 21, 2001
A Sunday morning accident involving an Amtrak passenger train claimed the life of a Toomsuba man.
Jesse Earl Barney, 50, of Route 1, Box 199, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Lauderdale County Deputy Medical Examiner Investigator Clayton Cobler.
Although the accident is still under investigation, Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said Barney's southbound 1985 Oldsmobile was struck by the eastbound Amtrak around 11:45 a.m. after he apparently attempted to cross the tracks at the Kewanee Road/Highway 11/80 East grade crossing.
The crossing there is equipped with lights and has good visibility, Sollie said.
So far, no one is sure why Barney attempted to cross the tracks. Sollie said a freight train moved through the intersection during the investigation and the lights worked properly.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department Accident Investigation Team was called to the scene, and the accident is still under investigation, Sollie said. Investigators are still attempting to locate and interview witnesses.
So far, it appears the Amtrak struck the rear of Barney's Oldsmobile and ejected him from his car.
The train was estimated to have been traveling at a speed just greater than 70 mph, he said.