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911 calls released in deadly Amite train crash

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AMITE - Frantic drivers were desperate for help after witnessing a train crash into a tow truck and the calls they made to 911 on Mother's Day capture their raw emotions.

The recordings were obtained by WBRZ Wednesday. Four calls capture what people were feeling in the moments after the crash.

"Oh my God, it's a mess. They're probably dead. It's a mess," one woman exclaimed to operators.

"The man has been tossed out of his vehicle," another person told 911. Dispatchers asked about the state of the person who was driving the truck hit by the train and were told by those reporting the incident, it did not look good.

The police department said Wednesday night, it was still unclear about why the driver crossed the tracks seconds before being hit by the train. Officers remorsefully said they'll likely never know since the driver died in the crash.

Officers identified the driver as Stephen Ricketson, 35, of Walker. Witnesses told police they saw Ricketson stopped at the tracks before the crash; he seemed to be doing paperwork, or was focused on something in his truck, they said. But, as the train approached, he drove into its path, they told responding officers.

The crossing where the crash happened, Pope Lane, is the only crossing in the city without warning lights and crossing arms, the town's police chief said.

Watch the attached video to hear more calls for help.

 

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