NEW INFO: Woman Injured After Van Strikes Train

A woman will be charged after she was injured when her van struck a passing train this afternoon in Craven County.

The accident happened around 12:50 p.m. at the crossing on Lake Road, west of Havelock. Authorities say that's near the Carteret County line.

The Highway Patrol says there are no gates at the crossing, but the warning lights were flashing at the time of the accident.

The Norfolk Southern locomotive, with no cars attached, was going about 25 miles per hour. It dragged the woman's van some 45 feet.

Members of the train crew helped 64-year-old Nancy Topolski out of the wreckage. The Newport woman was taken to CarolinaEast Medical Center for her injuries.

Troopers say Topolski will be charged with failure to stop at a railroad crossing.


Previous Story

Authorities in Craven County are at the scene of an accident involving a train that struck a vehicle at a railroad crossing.

The accident happened around 12:50 p.m. at the crossing on Lake Road, west of Havelock. Authorities say that's near the Carteret County line.

Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more on this developing story.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Robert Pines Location: United States on Mar 15, 2012 at 05:16 AM
    Where is the proof the lights were working?
  • by MisturRodgers Location: Kinston on Mar 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM
    How can you not see a train? All RR crossings I've seen have long stretches of track cleared in both directions so how's it possible for this woman not to see this HUGE piece of metal approaching? She would have to be deaf & blind both and surely doesn't deserve a drivers license. If she can't see a train she certainly can't see the rest of us.
  • by Ken Location: Rocky Mount on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:35 AM
    To: Robert Pines 1.The locomotive camera is paid for by the railroad and your cops do not have the authority to sieze it. The railroad is not governed by state and local law, only the federal goverment. 2. There is no black box, the event recorder is downloaded on a computer which requires the right software. 3. Signal maintainers do regular checks on crossings, per the Federal Railroad Addminstration (fra). 4. We are tested for drugs and alcohol quite frequently. 5.Trains run on signals or milepost to milepost, no video, even if the fog is so thick you can't see your hand in front of your face, if we're on a clear signal, we're gonna run track speed. 6. Stupid question. 7. Two more stupid questions. 8. Another stupid question, that's 4 in row you're on roll!!! 9. Track speed in a yard is 10 mph. Would you like to go 50 mph in a yard with a switch lined into a track with a cut of cars in it, hey even better an ammonia train ready to depart, just run in there at 50 and get 100's of people killed, that's 5, keep it going. 10. Who cares? You wouldn't make a decent "model railroader" or train nut as we call em.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 12:50 PM in reply to Ken
      Don't mind him Ken, he's just upset because he was too ignorant to be hired by a RR.
  • by Robert Pines Location: United States on Mar 7, 2012 at 08:49 AM
    Does the media ever think Hmmm 1. Why wasn't the train video camera paid for by the tax-payers not seized "immediately"by OUR cops and is being taken off the train by the RAILROAD? 2. Where is the railroad guy/gal going with that train event recorder with the train speed, lights, horns, brakes, etc...recorded? 3. Why is that railroad worker taking that box out of the signal house? 4. Why is that train crew not being tested for drugs/alcohol? 5. Where is the track video linked to the trains to compensate for the sight distance the train can't compensate for and get stopped? 6. Why under the trains there 100s of square feet to have better braking and there is not? 7. Why there is little fencing along tracks and no lookout towers along the tracks? 8. Why train stations don't have gates to open AFTER the train stops so people won't fall on the tracks? 9. Why trains go 50/6070/ mph through train stations/towns and they don't through railyards? 10. Why RR keep out signs are MILES apart in many places?
  • by laura Location: greenville on Mar 7, 2012 at 08:49 AM
    Pretty decent car to have no more damage than that.
  • by Donna on Mar 7, 2012 at 05:00 AM
    I have seen people trying to "outrun" trains many times. Even so far as manuvering between the gates that were already down. It's nuts! When I was in high school, I lost 7 friends at one time in which the driver of the car was trying to beat the train. Trains cannot stop on a dime. People should use common sense. Wait for the train please.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 04:25 AM
    All railroad crossings should have gates. Sometimes, when the sun is right right, it makes seeing the lights blinking difficult. Thank goodness it's a requirement that trains slow down and blare the horn before they cross. Otherwise, a lot more people might have hit trains! Maybe this woman was hard of hearing? We don't know that judging by this article!! If all crossings had gates, then it would make each crossing safer for everyone involved!!!
  • by BLAHammed on Mar 7, 2012 at 03:43 AM
    Women,PLEASE do not chew bubble gum and drive at the same time.
    • reply
      by laura on Mar 7, 2012 at 08:50 AM in reply to BLAHammed
      How else are we going to get home to cook your dinner?
  • by smh Location: nc on Mar 7, 2012 at 03:15 AM
    wow...some of these comments...why does pills or drugs have to do with it? why do u immediately think that? she coulda been on the phone in some way, but just bcuz she apparently didnt see a train (i dont understand how either) doesnt mean she was on drugs or that u have a right to assume anything. i'm just glad she's OK, i'm not gonna judge this woman. crazy accidents happen. just sayin :)
    • reply
      by BLAH on Mar 7, 2012 at 04:23 AM in reply to smh
      Your right.It was the bubble gum.
  • by Robert Pines Location: United States on Mar 6, 2012 at 09:36 PM
    Apparently the railroad pays this rag off.
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