Store owner says train derailment 'killed business'

MCBEAN, GA (WFXG) - Twisted and crumpled train cars lay beside the train tracks that cross Mike Padgett Highway at the Burke County line.

Norfolk Southern crews worked to clear the derailed train cars Thursday after a logging truck collided with the train Tuesday afternoon.

The crash injured two people and closed Mike Padgett Highway.

The McBean Package Shop sits next to the highway and Richard Faircloth, the owner, says business is suffering because of the closure.

"It's killed our business completely because they won't let them through on either side. We've got road blocks on both sides of us," he said.

Fox54's Mark Barber asked, "How many customers did you see a day?" Faircloth said, "Probably 75 to 100."

Now he says he only has about 8 to 10 customers a day.

He says so far, the crash has cost him $6,000 in lost business. He isn't the only who says the train derailment is costing them.

"It takes me miles out of my way and with gas prices and no paycheck coming in; it's affected a lot," said Marcie Hill.

She works at the package store and she says the crash caused her to miss two days of work.

She isn't from the area and says she got lost trying to make her way through the 20 minute detour to work. She says the consequences of not working for a couple days will last long past this week.

"It's going to set me back. I'm just going to have to cut out certain things that I would normally be able to buy," she said.

While a few customers are making their way past road closure signs and trickling into the package store, Faircloth questions if it's even worth opening up with the mess that's outside.

"It's been terrible and there's no sense in even being open right now but we're trying still," he said.

Norfolk Southern, the company that owns the derailed train, says they have to install new track panels before they can reopen the tracks.

EMA officials say Mike Padgett Highway will reopen Friday.

Until then, drivers traveling south on Mike Padgett are following a detour to Hephzibah McBean Road and then to Highway 25.

Drivers going north are being detoured at the bypass in Waynesboro.