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Report released on horrific truck-train crash

The Georgia State Patrol report on a horrific collision involving a Georgia Power truck and a Norfolk Southern locomotive in downtown Barnesville July 6 has been released. The driver of the truck miraculously escaped serious injury. The truck, a 2012 Freightliner, was southbound on Mill Street at 11:56 p.m. The railroad crossing guards were activated but the driver, who claimed not to have seen them, proceeded across he tracks and was hit by the locomotive which was traveling east. The truck was totally demolished. The driver, 63-year-old James Merritt of 2868 Weems Road in Molena, was trapped in the truck and had to be extricated. He was taken by Community Ambulance to Spalding Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released later that morning. Merritt was charged with failure to stop at a railroad crossing signal. The train was operated by engineer Ryan Charles Osbolt, 38, also of Molena. He was not injured or charged. Two others on the train were also not hurt. They were identified as Charles Randall Hudson, 31, and Tyler Reid East, 31, both of Macon. The crash was captured on City of Barnesville traffic surveillance cameras.

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