GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — A family is mourning after a crash involving a train claimed the lives of an elderly couple on Tuesday.
Dorothy Bell, 86, and her husband Samuel J. W. Bell, 98, had been married for 61 years. They were killed when their vehicle collided with a train while they were out grocery shopping.
Their son-in-law told us Samuel was a WWII Bronze Star combat veteran.
"It's a tremendous loss. I just would like to say that they were fine, solid Christians," he said.
He says the Bells were longtime members and elders of First Evangelical Church, pinnacles of the community and they were living full lives.
"They were active in several ministries across the city. He was a founding board member of Evangelical Christian School."
Germantown Police said Dorothy, who was driving at the time of the crash, died at the scene. Samuel was taken to the hospital where he later died.
On Wednesday, crews tested the crossing safety devices at the Germantown intersection.
At one point, a train went by not far from where a school is under construction.
According to Federal Transportation records, there have been at least six accidents at the railroad crossing since 1975. However, Tuesday's accident is the first fatal one in 24 years.
A 1994 accident killed a high school student and left three others injured. Another person was killed at the crossing in 1975.
Germantown Police say the crash is still under investigation but according to initial statements they received, the railroad devices were working properly.