Car in Grantville wreck not hit by passing train

by Wes Mayer

The single-vehicle accident in Grantville Thursday afternoon did not involve the car being clipped by a train as was first reported, according to Georgia State Patrol officials and the vehicle driver.

The victim of the afternoon accident Oct. 17, Sherrie Foster, said her vehicle was not actually sitting on the railroad tracks in Grantville when a train came by — she was driving on U.S. Highway 29 when she hydroplaned, lost control of her vehicle and ran off the road with her vehicle coming to rest upside down next to the tracks.

She was then rescued from her vehicle by Bill Batton, a substation operator for Georgia Power. He was driving near Foster and witnessed the entire incident, he said.

Batton said he watched Foster, who was heading southbound on U.S. 29, lose control of her vehicle around the intersection of Coweta-Heard Road, cross over into his lane and flip off the highway. Batton pulled off the road immediately and ran down to Foster’s vehicle, he said.

Foster, speaking about the accident, remembers waking up, looking out the window and seeing the tracks. She then realized she was trapped in the her vehicle and began to panic, but said that, fortunately, Batton was there to help her.

Batton was able to crawl into the front passenger’s window, and he managed to help Foster out of her seat and out of the car. As soon as both Foster and Batton stood up, he said, they heard the train whistle as it came around the bend. Batton helped Foster across the road to the nearby store, and he used his phone to call 911 and Foster’s mother since Foster’s phone was broken in the accident.

By some miracle, Batton said, Foster was only a little scratched up and the train just missed Foster’s vehicle by a foot.

“The Lord surrounded her with protection that day,” Batton said. “I feel blessed I was able to help her. I just hope someone would do the same for my wife and kids. We’re all out there to help each other.”

According to Gordy Wright, the public information officer with the Georgia State Patrol, the trooper who worked the scene could confirm there was no evidence the train struck the vehicle, and it appeared the driver lost control and overturned into the ditch. Foster was transported to Piedmont-Newnan Hospital after the accident to be checked.



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