Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

May 13, 2012

Victims of Cook County train crash identified

LENOX — The Cook County coroner released the names of the dead and injured Saturday in a train accident in Lenox.

An adult and a child were killed Friday when their car was crushed by a train at the edge of town.

Killed were Lazavious Blackman, 5, and his uncle, Keon Edwards Blackman, 21, from Miami, Fla., said Ron Lipsey, Cook County coroner.

The child was dead at the scene, Lipsey said. His uncle was taking several children to Miami to spend the summer with their father, Ladarius Blackman, he said.

Three children and an adult, all of Lenox, received serious injuries, the coroner said. He identified them as Lamar Gamble, 7, a first-grader; Lavarius Blackman, 6, a kindergartner; and Ladarious Blackman, 4. Their mother, Princess Gamble, was the injured adult, Lipsey said.

The injured victims were taken to hospitals in Valdosta, Macon and Atlanta, Lipsey said. He said the children’s father told him one child and the mother were in critical condition.

The accident took place around noon Friday at the West College Street train crossing on the north edge of town, said a trooper with the Georgia State Patrol. A car was heading west across the train crossing with six people inside when it was hit by the train, he said.

The West College Street train crossing has no crossing drop-arms, just crossbuck warning signs.

A third of a mile and four train crossings later, the train and the crushed car came to a stop behind a sports field in the middle of Lenox, just past the Colquitt Avenue crossing, the trooper said.

The coroner said an earlier report of three fatalities was in error.

Autopsies have been ordered for the two fatalities, to be carried out Monday at a crime lab in Macon, he said. Funeral services for Keon Blackman and Lazavious Blackman are incomplete but are being handled by Southview Mortuary.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office responded to the accident along with the state patrol.

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