An 18-year-old Lynn Camp High School student was injured Monday afternoon after he collided with a CSX Transportation train while riding a motorcycle near Rossland Road in the Gray community of Knox County.
Authorities say Glendon Elliott was riding a Yamaha dirt bike when he smashed into a car of an empty coal train at the Bertha Hollow crossing about 4:00 p.m. Skid marks showed Elliott tried to stop about 30 feet before hitting the train, but could not.
According to an official news release from Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, Elliott suffered “only minor leg injuries.”
Vehicle Enforcement Accident Reconstructionist Greg Reams, who is investigating the accident, said the injuries might have been more serious.
“He had injuries I would say were major,” Reams said. “From what I was told from people on the scene, one of his feet was amputated.”
The crossing has no safety gates, bells or flashing lights to warn of a trains’ approach. Reams said there are signs marking the crossing. He added that a railroad detective from CSX said the train engineer complied with regulations requiring the trains’ horn be blown when approaching all crossings.
“They had one of their investigators on the scene from Corbin,” Reams said. “I don’t know how to operate their equipment. They said the engineer was in compliance.”
At least one witness at the scene said there was no warning before the train crossed.
Elliott had turned around at a nearby lumberyard and was heading back home when the accident occurred. Investigators say he simply “misjudged clearance” when he attempted to cross the track in front of the train.
He was taken to Baptist Regional Medical Center by ambulance. He was later airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition Tuesday.
No one else was injured in the crash and police are not certain yet if drugs or alcohol were a factor.
Reams said it is illegal to ride the type of motorcycle Elliot was riding on a state highway. He said he isn’t certain if it violates county ordinances and said the investigation is continuing.
Officials at Lynn Camp High School say Elliott was a sophomore at the school. The school’s last official day of classes is today.
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