Trucking school students die in collision with train

| 9/1/2004

Three students attending a Georgia college’s truck driving school and their instructor were killed when a train hit the rig used to train the students Monday, Aug. 30.

At approximately 3:50 p.m., the rig was stopped at a railroad crossing at the intersection of State Highway 84 and Bert-Phillips Rd., according to police reports. According to witness accounts, the truck jumped forward twice, as if the clutch had been popped, into the path of the oncoming train.

The train, unable to stop, hit the truck. As the train drug the truck, the truck’s cab caught on fire. The truck was pushed approximately 1,000 feet down the tracks before the train was able to stop. All four were pronounced dead at the scene.

According to police reports, the students killed in the wreck were Jamie Carlton Holmes, 34, of Cairo, GA; Michael Elton Raley, 46, of Colquitt, GA; Deborah Kay Sims Martin, 40, of Cairo; GA; and instructor Laura Palmer Jenson, 38, of Bainbridge, GA.

The engineer of the train was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated and released.