COPIAH COUNTY, MS (WLBT) – A Madison county man was killed Sunday in a fiery crash when his SUV is struck by an oncoming train.
The accident happened just north of Crystal Springs at the County Line Road and Hartley Lane intersection.
It is the site of numerous Copiah county train vehicle collisions.
Bettie Sue Williams is shaken and pained by witnessing her cousin die right before her eyes.
"He was coming to my house. It liked to have killed me," said Williams.
Fifty-six-year old Alonzo Minter of Canton was crossing the railroad tracks at Hartley Lane and County Line Road when he was hit by a northbound Amtrak train.
Williams and other relatives were standing outside beneath a tree watching as Minter drove toward her home.
"The train came, but I didn't pay no attention because we see that every evening until it hit and it went like the world had blown up," added Williams.
The County Line Road resident said Minter's gray Chevy Tahoe burst into flames as it was dragged several yards from the intersection.
"Something caused this fire and it totally consumed the vehicle, but he was ejected from the vehicle," said Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones.
Relatives said they pulled his body away from flames that spread in the dry grass and closer to the tracks.
Those at the scene said Minter died instantly.
Copiah county investigators said no one on board the train was injured.
Canadian National Railroad officials were on scene investigating.
Sheriff Jones said 911 received the call at four o'clock.
He thanked fire fighters and first responders from around the county who arrived at the scene before deputies.
Minter's relatives said the intersection is dangerous, has claimed several lives and needs security measures to protect drivers.
The sheriff agrees.
"I just wish we could get some railroad crossing arms here and several other locations in my county we've had multiple fatalities at," said Jones.
This is the same location where an Amtrak train and dump truck collided in May of 2008.
Two men inside the Waste Management truck were thrown from the vehicle.
Two train cars derailed.
More than 20 people aboard the train were hospitalized.
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