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Man hurt when train strikes tractor

Staff reports • Dec 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM

A Limestone man who was attempting to pull a broken down FedEx van with his tractor was injured Thursday afternoon when the tractor was struck by a freight train.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, William Blevins, 57, 110 Joe Broyles Lane, Limestone, was in stable condition Thursday night at Johnson City Medical Center.

Trooper Doug Brewer said Blevins was attempting to pull the van, which had broken down near the intersection of Big Limestone Road and Joe Broyles Lane, across the railroad tracks using a chain attached to his International Harvester tractor.

Brewer said as the eastbound Norfolk Southern train approached the crossing, witnesses told Blevins it was nearing. Blevins reportedly got off his tractor, but then got back on it and could not clear the crossing before being struck.

Brewer said the tractor was broken into three or four pieces with one piece coming to rest 300 to 400 feet from the collision scene.

“It’s remarkable he survived the crash,” Brewer said.

The trooper said that tests performed after the collision showed all the lights and warnings at the crossing were working appropriately.