NEWTON, N.C. -- Conover Police are investigating a Tuesday afternoon collision involving a car and train that occurred off East 26th Street.
The driver of the car, a 33-year-old employee of Southern Furniture had to be airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center.
It's the second time in less than a week that an employee of the company has been hit by a train while leaving the parking lot; the entrance is at the front of the train crossing.
(Click here to see pictures of the crash)
"I looked and I thought is he on the track, I thought, didn't I hear a train," said Kay Brittian a witness who lives across the street from the plant.
She saw the crash and frantically called 911 trying to get help. "What got me was he didn't slow down, it didn't seem like it; he probably did, but I grabbed the phone called 911 and all I could see was him taking the car down the track," said Brittian.
Police say the car was dragged some 700 feet; emergency crews rushed to the scene and had to cut the victim out of the car.
"Were not sure if he was stopped in the railroad crossing or if he was trying to beat the train," said G.L. Ream of the Conover Police.
The crossing does not have lights or arms, authorities say that because it’s on private property it doesn't have to.
Southern Furniture President Frank Cooper says he will work with authorities on a safety program for his employees.