One dies in crash of train and SUV

Published 10:18 am Tuesday, July 17, 2018

AHOSKIE – One person was killed and three others injured when an SUV collided with a train near here Sunday evening at the rail crossing on Hall’s Siding Road.

The identity of the deceased is not known. Trooper S.C. Hegmann of the Ahoskie office of the North Carolina Highway Patrol said the other victims in the SUV said they only knew him by the name of Louis. He was said to be a Hispanic male in his 60’s.

The driver of the SUV, 22-year-old Jonathan Sanchez Valencia of Ahoskie, was charged by Hegmann with felony death by motor vehicle, DWI, reckless driving, no operator’s license, and two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle.

Hegmann said Valencia and two other passengers – 55-year-old Pedro Garcia and 20-year-old Alex Gomez Lopez, both of Ahoskie – were seriously injured. All three were transported by Hertford County EMS to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie.

Valencia was operating a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer eastbound on Hall’s Siding Road at the time of the crash, which was reported at 8:07 p.m.

Trooper Hegmann’s accident report showed that the SUV initially ran off the right side of the road at which time the driver lost control as the vehicle went into a sideways skid. It then struck the third car of the train, owned and operated by North Carolina-Virginia Railroad.

Hegmann said all warning lights at the rail crossing were activated as the train crossed Hall’s Siding Road. That crossing does not have drop-down gates.

The train, northbound at the time of the accident, received minor damage.

“The engineer actually was not aware that a vehicle had struck the train,” Hegmann said. “It kept traveling to its destination at Nucor and we had to advise the train’s personnel of the accident.”

The fatality was the fourth of 2018 in the Highway Patrol’s Troop A / District II area (Bertie, Hertford and Gates counties). Two of those fatalities have occurred in Hertford County.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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