Clean up continues and detours are still in place after a Tuesday train derailment in south Augusta on Mike Padgett Highway near McCombs Road at the Richmond County/Burke County line.
The train is no longer blocking the intersection, but traffic is being re-routed so repairs can be made. Authorities say the driver of an 18-wheeler lost control and struck the train, causing one of the derailed cars to hit a pick-up truck. The driver managed to jump out of the 18-wheeler before the collision.
Now, Mike Padgett Highway is still closed, and will remain so for at least 24 more hours. Businesses in that area say they're feeling the impact with less traffic coming through.
There is one main store in the immediate area, Yo Market, which has been a fixture in the south Augusta and McBean communities for almost forty years.
John Youmans has owned the storet for the past 11 years and says the small store and restaurant gets big business. "A lot from the truckers and from the plants around, also from Starbucks that's coming up. A lot of people from there are coming in. It gets to be pretty good right now," he says.
But, that traffic and business came to a halt quickly after Tuesday's train derailment.
The accident left more than 20 cars and tankers on their sides, but it also derailed Youmans' business. It killed it, pretty much," Youmans says.
Traffic was diverted from the area which kept hungry customers away and a lot of food uneaten. So, Youmans found a way to turn this bad situation into something good. "At the end of the shift, evening, we gave food to the people who worked on the train. We just gave the food away to them to keep it from being wasted," he says.
As workers sift through the mangled cars, bent metal, and detached wheels...more questions have emerged about what caused the 18-wheeler to hit the train.
Wilbert Maynor says the accident serves as a warning for everyone traveling this busy road. "You got to watch those trucks because they huge and they can't stop on a dime," he says.
Although traffic in the area is still detoured, Youmans is hoping the blocked road won't continue to block his business. "Now they are starting to let people through, if they ask to come down. Plus, McCombs Road is open as far as coming out," he says.
We will continue to follow this story and provide the latest information as it becomes available.
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