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Residents Concerned about Crossing Safety

A deadly crash involving a car and a train in Warner Robins has some people asking questions about whether the railroad crossing is safe.

There are no stop signs or caution arms at the railroad crossing at Ignico Drive and Highway 247. Nearby business owners say several trains pass a day.
We watched a train come right through and it took about thirty-seconds from when the warning lights came on until the train actually crossed the intersection.

But Vernita Chappell says thirty seconds wasn't long enough for her friend.  This is where the PT Cruiser, forty-five old Willie Lyons Jr. was driving, landed after it collided with a Norfolk Southern train Sunday afternoon.

Lyons was driving his girlfriend Donnell Reid and their one-month-old baby girl Kinsley.

"I actually think that they didn't see that train and there was no warning sign to let them know that the train was that near." says Chappell.

Train, Car Collide, Killing Mother and Baby

A mother and daughter died after their car collided with a train at the Ignico Drive intersection on Highway 247 in Houston County.

That's according to Houston County Coroner, Danny Galpin.

A dispatch operator with the Houston County Emergency Management Agency says the accident happened just after 5  p.m on Sunday.

Galpin says the mother, Donnell Reid, and her 1-month-old daughter, Kinsley Reid, died at the hospital. Galpin says the child's father, Willy Lyons, underwent surgery at the Medical Center of Central Georgia following the accident.

Galpin says the father was driving the vehicle.

"We think he just didn't see the train," said Galpin.

According to Galpin, the train's engineer says he saw the family's car pull up the intersection. He says he saw the driver look to the left, but says the driver never looked to the right.

Houston County Qualifiers for 2012 Local Elections

Houston County Qualifiers for 2012 Local Elections


Another election season is underway in Houston County, but for most of the candidates for local races, there's no competition. In fact, only two of the 13 posts are contested at all. Get up to date with this complete list of qualifiers for this year's local elections.


Houston County Board of Education, Post 7 (At-large) (non-partisan)

David “Dave” McMahan

Andy Rodriguez

Griff Clements



Amy E. Smith – Incumbent

Carl A. Veline, Jr.


Judge of the Probate Court

Janice Davidson Spires – R – Incumbent – Unopposed


Clerk of Superior Court

Carolyn V. Sullivan – R – Incumbent – Unopposed


Houston County Sheriff

Cullen Talton – R – Incumbent – Unopposed


Houston County Tax Commissioner

Two Central Ga. Judges Face Challenges

Superior court judges in the Dublin and Houston circuits face challenges in November.

In Houston County, Judge George Nunn is challenged by Bonnie "Michelle" Smith, a 39-year-old lawyer.

Houston judges Ed Lukemire and Katherine Lumsden are not opposed.

In Dublin, Harold McLendon, a 57-year-old attorney, is challenging Judge Jon F. Helton, 41.

Dublin judges H. Gibb Flanders and Donnie Gillis are not opposed.

Macon District judges S. Pihillp Brown and Edgar Ennis are also not opposed.

Those races are all non-partisan.

Warner Robins Optimist Club Honors Law Enforcement

A longtime Warner Robins organization took time to recognize the hard work of those in law enforcement.

The Warner Robins Optimist Club honored several people Thursday for their time and talents in serving the community.

Members of the Optimist Club say the recognition ceremony expressed their gratitude for those dedicated to keeping communities safe.

Eyewitness News talked with one of the honorees about receiving an award. 

"I was very suprised when I was notified. I appreciate the recognition that the Optimist Club gives for this award," said Mark Wright with the Warner Robins Police Department.

Award recepients received a plaque, gift card and a five hundred dollar donation in their name to the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Robins Air Force Hosts Annual Memorial Service

Robins Air Force Base honored fallen heroes Thursday with its annual memorial service in Camellia Gardens.

For 36 years the gardens have served as the meeting place for veterans and family members to gather in tribute of lost loved ones.

The ceremony recognized 51 honorees with song and prayer.
Robins Air Force Chaplain Patrick Knoester says the ceremony is just a small token of appreciation to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"This is what we do. We honor our heroes. Living, we nuture them and take care of them. Those who have fallen, those who have passed on, we honor them and we memorialize what they've done," said Knoester.

The ceremony honors deceased military and civilian workers who served at Robins.

The garden's entrance bears the names of more than seventeen hundred people who've been recognized in previous ceremonies.

Minor Traffic Changes Next Week at RAFB

Next week, there will be some traffic changes at Robins Air Force Base.

According to Chrissy Miner, chief media officer for Robins Air Force Base, beginning Tuesday May 29, the commercial traffic gate will be closed to outbound traffic. 

Inbound traffic will also change as the commercial search area will be located further south along Page Road.

The changes are due to safety and security reasons.

Gate 5, the Martin Luther King Street gate, will reopen to outbound traffic for selected hours: Monday-Friday 5am-8pm and Saturday 8am-6pm, but these hours are subject to change.

Inbound lane operating hours for both gates will not change.