Man says parked train jumped out' and hit him
By By Marianne Todd/staff writer
Jan. 3, 2002
Deputy John Calhoun thought he might be seeing things as he watched a man back his car down the railroad tracks away from the train he had just hit.
But his vision was right on.
The driver, arrested DUI in rural Lauderdale County on New Year's Eve, thought he was driving on a road in Lisman, Ala.
He was wrong on both counts. He was nowhere near Alabama, and the "road" was a set of tracks near Old Highway 19 South and Causeyville-Whynot Road.
The man was one of 16 people arrested for DUI by local officers between Christmas Eve and Jan. 1. Even so, authorities say the number decreased drastically this holiday season. Last year during the same period, 43 people were arrested for DUI.
Sheriff's deputies charged a total of eight people with DUI, compared to 14 last year. City records indicate four people were charged with DUI this year, three less than last year.
Sgt. Ronnie Carter, a spokesman with the Mississippi Highway Patrol, said troopers in Troop H made four DUI arrests during the 2002 New Year holiday, compared with eight last year. They also wrote half as many citations this year 308 in 2000, 154 in 2001 and decreased the number of seatbelt and child restraint violations.
Maj. Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, said he attributes the decrease to three factors: "No. 1, education. We have continuously been educating the public on the dangers of drinking and driving. No. 2, increased enforcement. We have an officer who specifically deals with DUI enforcement. And No. 3, community awareness. People are realizing that drinking and driving is a danger, and there's more pressure out there from peoples' peers not to do that."
As for the man on the tracks, Calhoun said he was removed from the scene uninjured and with a minimal amount of damage to his car. Officials said residents can count their blessings that he met with a parked train not another car on his trip from Lisman to Lauderdale County.