The conductor of an Amtrak train traveling through Fairfax County received a terrible shock this past Tuesday when they noticed that heading towards them on the railroad tracks was a white four-door Ford. According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the train was able to come to a stop before slamming into the car directly, and the driver of the car, and unnamed senior citizen, was able to get mostly out of the way.
The train did still collide with the car, but all of the current reports on the incident say that the collision was not serious and that the car's elderly driver was not injured.
Now, investigators are trying to discover just what happened.
It seems that the driver of the car, a man who was not named in the original reports, was attempting to turn off of a main road in Lorton onto another road. For reasons that are not entirely clear, the man instead turned onto the railroad tracks. It is not certain if the man understood that he had left the railroad or if he believed himself to be going the correct direction up until the point where he noticed a train coming towards him.
What we do know is that the train, an Amtrak Auto Train, was traveling down the Virginia Railway Express' Fredericksburg line at close to 7:00 in the morning when the conductor of the train saw the car. Due to the quick thinking of the conductor, the train was able to slow down in time to not badly damage the car. For his part, the driver of the car was able to drive almost completely of the way out of the train's path. It is believed that the train only sideswiped the car as it passed, and that nobody aboard the train or inside the car was injured in the collision.
Passengers aboard the train were delayed for a long period of time as police conducted their investigation into the incident. It was not until 9:00 in the morning, around two hours after the initial collision, that busses arrived to transport people waiting for the train at several of the upcoming stations.