HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
MORE QUESTIONS TONIGHT ABOUT A RAILROAD CROSSING IN HOUSTON COUNTY... THAT'S BEEN THE SCENE OF SEVERAL ACCIDENTS..
A MOTHER AND HER INFANT DAUGHTER DIED IN THE MOST RECENT CRASH THIS WEEKEND.
IT HAPPENED ON HIGHWAY 247 AT IGNICO DRIVE..
DEPUTIES SAY THEY DON'T BELIEVE THE DRIVER, 45-YEAR-OLD WILLIE LYONS SAW THE TRAIN...
THE CRASH KILLED LYON'S ONE-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER, KINSLEY, AND HER 31-YEAR-OLD MOTHER, DONNELL REID..
LYONS WAS TAKEN TO THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA IN CRITICAL CONDITION.
AN INCIDENT REPORT SAYS A HOUSTON COUNTY OFFICER SAID HE COULD NOT HEAR THE TRAIN WARNING IN HIS CAR... AT THE SITE OF SUNDAY'S ACCIDENT... BUT HE COULD SEE THE FLASHING CROSSING LIGHTS.
JENNIFER MOULLIET SPOKE WITH SOME RESIDENTS WHO SAY THE LIGHTS ARE NOT ENOUGH.
Shirley Reeves, Warner Robins: "People are losing their lives there."
SHIRLEY REEVES SAYS BEFORE SHE CROSSES THE TRACKS SHE STOPS... EVEN THOUGH THERE ISN'T A STOP SIGN.
"Alot of people be in a rush and they don't even stop they just shoot on out there."
SHE SAYS THE FLASHING RED LIGHTS AREN'T ENOUGH TO WARN PEOPLE.
" people aren't going to pay those lights no attention there just going to go right on anyway."
SUSAN TERPAY... DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN COMPANY... SAYS THE TRAIN COMPANY CAN INSTAL SAFETY ARMS... BUT IT'S UP TO THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO DECIDE WHERE THEY GO.
WE REACHED OUT TO G-DOT TO SEE IF THE CROSSING AT IGNICO DRIVE AND HIGHWAY 2-47 IS ON THEIR LIST TO ADD SAFETY GATES... BUT THEY COULDN'T TELL US.
G-DOT'S WEBSITE SAYS SEVERAL FACTORS GO INTO PUTTING UP BARRIERS... LIKE THE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC USING THE INTERSECTION...TRAIN VOLUME... AND ACCIDENT HISTORY.
VERLEDA GRAVES WORKS RIGHT NEXT TO THE TRACK AND SAYS IT'S EASY TO GET SIDE TRACKED WHILE DRIVING.
Verleda Graves, Office Manager Christian Fellowship Academy: "If you're in a hurry and you don't hear the train, but just because you don't hear it doesn't mean that it's not coming you get comfortable I think with the surroundings you think you're going to always hear it."
SHE SAYS THE INTERSECTION IS BUSY... "There is an accident every year there, one accident makes it unsafe."
ESPECIALLY AT LUNCH TIME.
"Trying to get down to 247 or traffic in general during lunch is sometimes horrendous
REEVES AGREES THERE SHOULD BE A CHANGE.
"if they had a rail there it would be more safe for the people in the community."
JENNIFER MOULLIET 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> TO LEARN HOW TO SUBMIT A REQUEST TO THE STATE FOR GATES AT A TRAIN CROSSING.... VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13-WMAZ-DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THIS STORY.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... DO YOU AVOID DRIVING OVER RAILROAD CROSSINGS?
SO FAR 92 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
AND 8 PERCENT SAY YES... YOU DO.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
A WARNER ROBINS MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING HIS GIRLFRIEND WILL SPEND AT LEAST ONE MORE WEEK IN JAIL.
TODAY... RUSSELL HOLT'S LAWYER ASKED A JUDGE TO SET BOND FOR THE FORMER PROBATION OFFICER.
JUDGE TRIP SELF CALLED IT A CLOSE CALL... BUT SAID NO.
HE SAID HE WAS CONCERNED THAT HOLT MIGHT BE A FLIGHT RISK... OR CONTACT WITNESSES IN THE CASE.
HOLT'S ACCUSED OF SHOOTING JESSICA WOLFE BACK IN MARCH.
HE SAYS INTRUDERS BUSTED INTO HIS HOUSE THAT NIGHT... AND KNOCKED HIM OUT.
SELF SAID HE'LL REVIEW THE BOND REQUEST AFTER A HOUSTON COUNTY GRAND JURY HEARS THE CASE NEXT WEEK.
A CENTRAL GEORGIA FAMILY SAYS THEY'RE WAITING TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO A 29-YEAR-OLD MOTHER OF 3 FOUND DEAD ON MEMORIAL DAY.
AS CANDACE ADORKA REPORTS.... MACON POLICE SAY CANDICE RICE WAS MURDERED... BUT ARE NOT SAYING HOW SHE DED. HOWEVER....THEY DO HAVE A PERSON OF INTEREST.
"Beautiful person. Wouldn't hurt a fly..."
GREGORY RICE SAYS HE DROVE FROM FORSYTH MONDAY LOOKING FOR HIS DAUGHTER CANDACE.
"She wouldn't answer the door. So I called the police out here
NO ONE HAD HEARD FROM HER IN TWO DAYS... AND A FRIEND WATCHING HER THREE KIDS SAID THAT WAS VERY UNUSUAL.
GREGORY RICE SAYS WHEN POLICE COULDN'T GET IN... HE JUMPED THROUGH AN OPEN KITCHEN WINDOW.
"they told me to just go straight through the door and you know, I let them in and the officer he discovered her."
ACCORDING TO AN INCIDENT REPORT... POLICE FOUND CANDICE RICE ON THE FLOOR IN HER LOCKED BEDROOM COVERED WITH A BROWN QUILT.
"this is my friend candace,"
PEGGY OGLESBEE SAYS SHE'S KNOWN CANDICE FOR TEN YEARS.
SHE SAYS SHE WAS BABYSITTING CANDACE'S THREE CHILDREN OVER THE WEEKEND.
"this is her with her first born child look at the smile and love she's showing."
SHE SAYS RICE'S BOYFRIEND... BOBBY FORDHAM DROPPED OFF THE KIDS SUNDAY... AND SHE NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN.
POLICE WON'T CALL HIM A SUSPECT... SAY HE MAY HAVE INFORMATION ON THE CASE.
"Bobby lee if you out threre and you hear this... come on back... face the crime."
OGLESBEE AND RICE'S FAMILY HOPE WITH FORDHAM... COULD COME SOME ANSWERS THAT MAY HELP EASE A FATHER'S HEARTBREAK.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> HE'S ABOUT 6 FEET TALL... 165 POUNDS... WITH A GOATEE AND SIDEBURNS.
POLICE SO FAR HAVE NOT SAID HOW CANDICE RICE DIED.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THIS CASE... CALL MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS... THAT NUMBER... 1-877-68-CRIME.
AGAIN...THAT NUMBER... 1-877-68-CRIME.
MACON POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING ANOTHER MEMORIAL DAY DEATH.
ACCORDING TO A POLICE NEWS RELEASE... A WOMAN WAS SHOT AND MURDERED IN A WEST MACON HOME.
AMY AUBERT HAS THE STORY.
JUST AFTER 5 A-M MONDAY... 31-YEAR-OLD NETTRA BROOKS... WAS SHOT IN THIS HOME... ON MONTPELIER AVENUE.
Nats, Tamiko: "We called her Bug. They always said where's Nettra? Where's Bug?"
ACCORDING TO A POLICE REPORT... BROOKS WAS SHOT JUST BELOW HER LEFT ARMPIT.
Nats: "She always said I was the momma."
BROOKS' SISTER... TAMIKO BROOKS... SAID SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHY SHE DIED...BUT CALLS IT A CASE OF BEING IN THE WRONG PLACE... AT THE WRONG TIME.
Tamiko Brooks, Warner Robins: "It's not right for people to go around shootin' up people's houses and taking people's lives for nothin'."
FAMILY GATHERED AT BROOKS' AUNT'S HOME... JUST DOWN THE ROAD... ON BRENTWOOD AVENUE TUESDAY.
HER AUNT... BERNICE BROOKS... DID NOT WANT TO BE SHOWN ON CAMERA.... BUT SAYS SHE RAISED NETTRA FROM THE TIME SHE WAS A CHILD.
SHE SAYS A NEIGHBOR KNOCKED ON HER DOOR MONDAY MORNING... SAYING THERE WAS A SHOOTING. BROOKS SAYS SHE FOUND HER NEICE'S BODY INSIDE THE COLUMBUS AVENUE HOME... WHERE FAMILY MEMBERS SAY BROOKS WAS STAYING WITH FRIENDS.
FAMILY MEMBERS SUSPECT THE SHOOTING WAS RANDOM... AND A POLICE REPORT SAYS OTHER PEOPLE WERE INSIDE THE HOME... WHEN SHOTS WERE FIRED.
Chemeka Williams, Macon: "And they really didn't care who they killed. They didn't care. They deserve to go to jail, whoever did it."
MACON POLICE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THE GUNMAN.
FOR BROOKS' FAMILY... IT'S A MEMORIAL DAY... SPENT REMEMBERING THE 31 YEAR OLD... THEY SAY... LENT A HELPING HAND... TO ANYONE.
THE SHOOTING... LEAVES UNANSWERED QUESTIONS... FOR FAMILY... AND POLICE.
AMY AUBERT 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT ON HOW MANY SHOTS WERE FIRED... AND HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE IN THE HOME AT THE TIME OF THE SHOOTING.
BROOKS' UNCLE... CHARLES MELVIN... SAYS SHE'S BEEN STAYING AT THE MONTPELIER AVENUE HOME FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS.
BROOKS' SISTER... SAYS BROOKS HAS A 4 YEAR OLD SON... WHO IS CURRENTLY STAYING WITH HIS GRANDMOTHER IN ATLANTA.
A MACON MAN IS IN THE BIBB COUNTY JAIL TONIGHT.. CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY.. AFTER POLICE SAY HE STRANGLED A PUPPY TO DEATH.
ACCORDING TO THE POLICE REPORT.. AN OFFICER RESPONDED TO A CALL ABOUT A FIGHT ON ATKINS DRIVE IN MACON.
THE OFFICER FOUND 35-YEAR-OLD ANTONIO DUFFIE STANDING OVER A DEAD PUPPY.
DUFFIE TOLD THE OFFICER THE PUPPY DIED ACCIDENTALLY.
BUT TWO CHILDREN TOLD THE OFFICER THEY SAW DUFFIE THROW THE PUPPY AGAINST A WALL.. THEN PICK THE PUPPY UP BY ITS NECK AND SQUEEZE IT UNTIL IT STOPPED SQUEALING.
HE'S BEING HELD IN THE BIBB COUNTY JAIL...ON 29 HUNDRED DOLLARS BOND.
IT'S GREAT HANG UP DAY HERE ON EYEWITNESS NEWS.
SOME DRIVERS SAY THEY'VE MASTERED THE JUGGLING ACT OF SHIFTING GEARS... AND USING A CELL PHONE.
BUT OTHERS TOLD KATELYN HECK BATTLING THE HIGHWAY IN A MANUAL TRANSMISSION... LEAVES NO ROOM FOR DISTRACTIONS.
(NATS: opening door/starting car)
RELEASE THE PARKING BRAKE... FOOT ON THE CLUTCH... WHEN 15-YEAR-OLD JOHN SMITH GETS BEHIND THE WHEEL... HE HAS A LOT ON HIS MIND.
(SOT:knowing when to change the gears at a certain rpm or else you'll burn out the motor and knowing how to come to a complete stop)
WITH ALL OF THAT RUNNING THROUGH HIS HEAD... SMITH SAYS HE DOESNT HAVE TIME FOR ANY DISTRACTIONS.
(SOT::i have to spend the majority of my time thinking about it, then i have to spend the rest of my time knowing about the traffic laws and looking at other stuff)
HE'S PUTTING HIS FOOT DOWN WHEN IT COMES TO USING HIS PHONE ON THE ROAD... AND SAYS THATS AN OPINION HE DOESNT PLAN TO SHIFT.
(SOT:manuals keep me focused on whats important... driving)
A STUDY BY THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION SHOWS MANY DRIVERS ACROSS THE THE U-S AGREE WITH SMITH... MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS AND MOBILES... JUST DONT MIX.
(NATS: "ring ring! oh hey mom")
BUT GARY PURVIS SAYS AFTER SIX YEARS OF DRIVING A STICK... HE HAS TALKING AND SHIFTING GEARS... DOWN TO A SCIENCE.
(NATS: now i come to a stop sign, hold on mom, down shift, ok!)
HE SAYS STEERING HIS SIX SPEED STILL MAKES HIM FEEL SAFER THAN CRUISING IN AN AUTOMATIC.
(SOT:it does keep me aware, it keeps me engaged in my driving, so you never really get as comfortable in a manual as you do in an automatic, because a manual, it will still make a fool out of you sometimes, i dont care how long you've been driving it, you gotta be on your p's and q's when youre driving a manual.)
BUT TRANSMISSION ASIDE.... BOTH SMITH AND PURVIS SAY THEY'LL PUT IT IN PARK BEFORE SENDING A TEXT BEHIND THE WHEEL.
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> CAPTAIN CHARLIE GUNNELLS WITH THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE SAYS THEY DON'T KEEP STATISTICS ON WHETHER MORE ACCIDENTS OCCUR IN MANUAL OR AUTOMATIC CARS.
BUT HE SAYS HE SEE'S MORE DISTRACTED DRIVERS BEHIND THE WHEELS OF STICK SHIFTS.
YOU CAN JOIN THE GREAT HANG UP AND PLEDGE TO GIVE UP THE PHONE WHILE YOU'RE DRIVING.
JUST VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM... AND LOOK FOR THE PLEDGE UNDER THE "FEATURES" TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK TO SIGN THE PLEDGE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE.
AFTER YOU SIGN THE PLEDGE... WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR STORIES TO SHARE DURING OUR GREAT HANG UP DAY ON THE LAST TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH.
JUST SEND AN EMAIL TO THE-GREAT-HANG-UP AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO LET US KNOW YOU'RE INTERESTED.
ONE LOCAL AIR FORCE FAMILY RECEIVED A MEMORIAL DAY REUNION THEY'LL NEVER FORGET.
IT'S A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.
NATS OFF TOP - 4 SECS
MASTER SERGEANT DAVID SIMS... OF CENTERVILLE... SURPRISED HIS WIFE... ROBIN... AND THEIR FOUR CHILDREN AT TURNER FIELD. THE ACT WAS A PART OF THE HOMETOWN HEROES EFFORT... PUT FORTH BY THE ATLANTA BRAVES. SIMS SERVED A 6 MONTH TOUR IN AFGHANISTAN... ON A NATO INSTALLATION. HE SAYS HIS SURPRISE WASN'T A SPUR OF THE MOMENT DEAL. HE HAD BEEN WORKING WITH THE BRAVES AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS SINCE FEBRUARY. HIS FAMILY HAD NO IDEA WHY THEY WERE CALLED ONTO THE FIELD.
Master Sergeant David Sims: "Everyone cheered for them... then they played my message that I had pre-recorded... which they thought was live via satellite. In the message of course I said... "You know I can't wait to be home with you in fact wait just one minute"... and then I walked off camera and then walked out on the ball field. Of course they saw me... and I saw them. We all ran towards each other and the hugging and kissing commenced."
SIMS SAYS HE'S MORE THAN HAPPY TO BE HOME.
WHEN ASKED WHAT HE LOOKS FORWARD TO MOST... HE SAYS AMERICAN FOOD.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THE SIMS' STORY AND THEIR REUNION... TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.