CATEGORY: CAC Car Accidents



City Councilman Tommy Doty was not injured but his pickup was heavily damaged Saturday afternoon when he failed to yield for an oncoming train at a railroad crossing on Jefferson Street.

The train, which police said was about five cars long, clipped the back of Doty's 1992 Ford truck on the driver's side.

The 52-year-old said he can't explain how the accident happened at the crossing between Front and Commerce streets. There is no signal at the crossing.

"I was crossing and I just looked up and saw the train," said Doty, who has been on the council for 2 1/2 years. "I saw I was about to be hit, so I punched (the accelerator). I was lucky it just hit the back of my truck instead of the driver's area."

He said he wasn't sure if the train engineer sounded a whistle as he was approaching the track.

"He could have blown and I just didn't hear it," Doty said. "It's really hard to explain this. I'm just sick about it. It messed my truck up pretty bad. I really liked that truck, too."

The Tupelo Police Department did not ticket him for failure to yield.

Doty was quick to praise the department's handling of his accident Saturday.

"It happened right by the police department, so a lot of officers came out," he said. "They all seemed genuinely concerned. They told me they were glad I wasn't hurt. They handled it all very well. I can't say that enough."

In February of 1994, Doty said two traffic tickets he received from city police were the result of police harassment. The citations came after he called for an investigation of the police department's Narcotics Unit.


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