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Accident on train tracks leads to fatality

NORCROSS — A deadly two-vehicle crash and train collision snarled traffic on Tuesday afternoon in southwest Gwinnett County.

Gwinnett Police spokesman Jeffery Richter said a van and pickup truck were involved in accident on the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks at Buford Highway and Amwiler Road. Officers responded at about 4:55 p.m., and found the van on fire under the train.

“The accident was unable to be cleared prior to the train entering the intersection,” Richter said.

Richter said there was one fatality and one person taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. A first-arriving police officer was treated for smoke inhalation and returned to work the scene. Richter did not identify the victim pending notification of family.

“(Officers) ... worked feverishly to remove the occupants,” said Richter, who added he believed there was one person in each vehicle.

Buford Highway was closed southbound at Pleasantdale Road, and northbound near Lake Drive for several hours.

“Something of this magnitude,” Richter said, “it’s going to take a while to clear the wreck.”

This is the third incident in about five weeks in Gwinnett or Barrow counties where someone was injured or killed by a train collision.

Auburn police responded to a woman who was hit, but survived on Feb. 21 in the area of Ga. Highway 8 and Highway 324. On Feb. 4, a man was killed on the tracks along Buford Highway, near its intersection with Johnson Road, also near Norcross.