Sweet Home crash verifies community concerns

SWEET HOME, Ark. (KTHV) - One boy is dead and three others are in the hospital after a train collided with a car in Sweet Home on Thursday morning.

Authorities say 9-year-old Floyd May died at the scene, and are investigating what led up to the accident, saying it's possible the car tried to outrun the train.

Residents in the region say the rail intersections have posed problems in the past.

"[The community] said it is going to take a major catastrophe before [the state] does something about it," said Cynthia Williams, who lives across the tracks in Higgins and has tried addressing its hazards for years.

"We've seen accidents occur, we've seen children who try to hop over the train to try and catch the bus," she continued.

The rail's intersection with Harper Road is the only direct way to get from one end of town to the other, and many neighbors say today's accident validated their concerns about its hazards they say include a lack of barriers, fast-moving trains, and overgrown brush.

"Sweet Home is going to be the last city on the block to get anything done so it is our hope that after today [the intersections] will be looked into," said community activist Susan Forte, who knows the Mays family.

Union Pacific is the rail company that manages the tracks and they say accidents are on a case-by-case basis and are not sure if Thursday's accident will change safety measures- even though the community is calling for it.

"These are our young people in our community," continued Forte. "It is our hope that after today something be done with the railroad crossing."

Residents in the area say the man driving the car, Corey May, is a well-known pastor in the community.


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