GDOT worker killed in accident with train

A 60-year-old Georgia Department of Transportation worker was killed Thursday morning in an accident with a train in Coweta County, officials said.

Cary Byron Ellerbee (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

The Atlanta-bound CSX train struck the GDOT salt truck around 9 a.m. on the tracks at the intersection of Railroad Street and Bethlehem Church Road in Moreland, a CSX spokeswoman confirmed.

The truck driver, identified as Cary Byron Ellerbee of Thomaston by the Coweta coroner, was treating a road covered in snow and ice from Wednesday’s storm, GDOT told Channel 2 Action News. The railroad crossing had no gates or signals, the news station reported.

“The train dragged the truck for several hundred yards,” the Georgia State Patrol, which responded to the scene, said in a statement.

The truck was ripped to shreds and the driver had to be rescued from the vehicle, according to Channel  2. He later died, according to Coweta County fire Chief Pat Wilson.

CSX personnel are working on site with GSP troopers during the investigation.

The four crew members on the train were not injured, CSX said. The train consisted of two locomotives, 55 loaded rail cars and two empty rail cars.

“CSX extends its deepest sympathies to the family of the driver and to our transportation colleagues at GDOT,” the CSX statement said.

The state Senate observed a moment of silence Thursday in Ellerbee’s honor, according to Channel 2.

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