Teen recovering after crash involving train - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Teen recovering after crash involving train

(WMC-TV) - A teen is recovering Wednesday afternoon following a crash with a train.

Hearing a train's horn is fairly common for those who live or work in Myrtle, but not everybody stops for it.

Former Myrtle High School teacher Hugh Foster said most would be surprised how many people cross the tracks regardless of the warning signs.

"I've seen this happen on many occasions, they think they have enough time to make it across the track," he said.

Safety of these crossings is fresh on many peoples' minds because of what happened to 18-year-old Benjamin Paiste Tuesday morning.

The Myrtle High School senior got hit by a train on his way to school.

"When you get up to the tracks, you don't hear these trains, if you've got windows up and the radio on, and a lot of people just go straight across the railroad tracks without even looking," said Myrtle resident Diane Hefner.

None of the three crossings in Myrtle has guard rails or any other protection other than the audible bells and red flashing lights.

"We really need arms to come down for safety reasons," said Foster.

Myrtle Mayor Joe Rials said it's not that simple.

"Being a small town, we just do not have the financial resources to undertake something like that," said Rials.

That's why many small towns don't have crossing arms.

Still, Tuesday's accident struck a little too close to home for high school senior Kayla Turner.

"I cross the train track every day coming into Myrtle, and there's no lights, no nothing where I have to cross," said Turner. "It could have happened to anybody, but the thing is, you never know."

Since Tuesday's accident, Paiste's condition has been upgraded from critical to fair condition.

There's still no word on why he was trying to cross the tracks.

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