JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Troopers said the driver who died after an Amtrak train struck his Chevrolet Tahoe on Thursday evening was stopped illegally on tracks on Timuquana Road just off Roosevelt Boulevard.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the driver, Joshua McCoy, 23, of Jacksonville, was transported to UF Health Jacksonville, where he died.
McCoy's SUV was stopped because of traffic waiting to turn left onto Roosevelt was backed up. According to the accident report, the crossing arms were down and the train blew its horn several times prior to it striking the passenger side of the Tahoe. The train pushed the vehicle about three-quarters of a mile down the tracks before it could come to a stop.
McCoy was the only occupant of the vehicle.
Residents in the area said much attention is needed at the area where the crash occurred.
Justin Weldon lives in the area and crosses the track daily and said there is not enough time between when drivers hear and see the train.
“It needs to be a lot longer delay than it is because that was just with in a blink of an eye, yes. It's not safe,” Weldon said. “I think there needs to be a longer delay between the time the gates go down and the train crosses the intersection and it should be better control.”
Weldon suggested that control should come in the form of a camera.
“When you mark an intersection just like you do any other intersection that says this intersection has camera control, you see the cameras visually,” Weldon said. “It's going to deter people from trying to rush and to be safe.”
Similar sentiments echoed from a couple Burnette and Ancil Forde. The Fordes live in the area as well and were familiar with McCoy.
“The delay time is just not enough. Especially in a high traffic time, in the mornings, in the evening times, it just doesn't give them enough time and it's very dangerous,” Burnette Forde shared.
McCoy who grew up in his father’s church was remembered by Ancil Forde.
“Brother McCoy, was a friend and a brother in the Lord and a preacher and evangelist, I'm real sorry this happened,” Ancil Forde said. “I gave my story to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. Something got to change up here.”
The home going celebration for Joshua McCoy will take place Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 at 11 a.m. at the Trumpet in Zion Fellowship church located at 6007 Seaboard Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32244.
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