Updated 06/20/2012 05:09 PM
Surveillance video shows SUV colliding with light rail train
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CHARLOTTE - Light rail service was brought to a halt Sunday evening following a dramatic wreck in South Charlotte.
News 14 Carolina was the first to obtain surveillance footage of the wreck at the intersection of South Boulevard and Remount Road, showing a white SUV plowing into a light rail car.
"She just wasn't paying attention and she ran the gate, actually broke that gate arm and hit the train," said Sgt. Charles Rappleyea, CMPD's Transit Liaison.
He said he's shocked the driver and 48 people on board weren't seriously hurt.
"We have been very lucky. If that thing hits you just right, it could be a fatality," said Rappleyea.
This was the second accident in less than two months at the same intersection. The previous crash happened in late April when an impaired driver rear-ended another vehicle onto the tracks. Seven people were taken to the hospital. The driver was charged.
Because both incidents had nothing to do with the rail systems, transit officials say there isn't much they can do other than encourage common sense.
"You've got to pay attention to signals, you've got to pay attention to your surroundings, and even if you're walking down the skip trail near the tracks, you've got to pay attention because these things are very quiet," added Rappleyea.
The Charlotte Area Transit System said this is the seventh incident involving a light rail train and vehicle in four and a half years. In that time, the service has provided more than 20-million rides.