Woman crawls under tracks to leave home

Feb. 7, 2010 at 12:54 PM
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CALLAHAN, Fla., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Florida woman, 66, said she has to crawl between two railroad cars to go anywhere from her home after being trapped by the cars.

Aretha Brown said a train parked 40 cars on the tracks that run in front of her Callahan house Dec. 27 -- and just left them there, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union reported Saturday.

Brown said she must crawl under the cars even to go to her mailbox, or else walk 20 minutes to get around the train. She struggles to keep her Sunday best clean when she goes to church. It's very difficult making her way under the train with a bag of groceries, the newspaper reported.

"My house is falling apart and I can't get anyone to come and make repairs because they won't climb under the train," Brown told the Times-Union.

She said she banged her shoulder crawling under the cars and it hurt for weeks.

Brown said her parents bought the old white house more than 30 years ago. Her sister and niece, Mae and Rita Hailey, lived in an adjoining house before they moved out in frustration a few weeks ago. Her brother, Frank Cheavers, still lives in the adjoining house.

"I really don't think anyone would want to buy this," she laughed when asked if she would sell the homes.

Mae Hailey said she asked CSX Transportation to move the cars, or at least disconnect them in front of Brown's house, but the railroad declined to do so.

CSX preferred to locate a new destination for the train, and also intends to build an access road that would permit Brown to reach the street without having to cross the tracks, CSX spokesman Gary Sease said.

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