Posted: Tuesday, June 26th 2012 at 2:08am
Three men charged after climbing on overhead railroad signal
By Rob Moore Editor
Mt. Airy Police Chief Corey Allen said he caught three men trespassing on this overhead railroad signal Monday afternoon. The three were arrested for criminal trespass. (Photo/Rob Moore)
MT. AIRY – Three men were arrested Monday afternoon after Mt. Airy Police Chief Corey Allen caught them trespassing on railroad equipment.
Kenton Tyler Beck, 20, of Clarkesville; Korey Ray Jarrard, 21, of Cleveland; and Preston Caleb Smith, 19, of Clarkesville all were charged by Allen with criminal trespass.
“They were up there on that [overhead signal post] at Sunlit Hollow,” Allen said. “I caught them up there – there were two of them up there and another one coming down. One of them was coming down taking pictures of them. Two of them are 19, one of them is 21.”
Allen said a Department of Transportation safety inspector also responded while Allen was waiting for a wrecker to tow the vehicle the men were driving.
Trespassing on railroads is dangerous, officials say, especially since it can take a mile or more to stop a train, meaning a locomotive engineer who sees someone on the tracks likely will not be able to stop in time.
About every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train.
Operation Lifesaver, a nationwide rail safety education organization, urges pedestrians to stay away from railroad tracks and equipment.
“The only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing with either a crossbuck, flashing red lights, or a gate,” the organization’s website states. “If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined.”
“Railroad tracks, trestles, yards, and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine,” the site states.
“Part of what Operation Lifesaver does is tries to educate the public about the dangers of trespassing,” said Jennie Glasgow, state coordinator for Georgia Operation Lifesaver. “Not only are they breaking the law, but they’re potentially risking their lives.”
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