Smiths Station High teacher recovering well after train collision

“Hand of God, is what it was.”

That’s what Smiths Station High School Principal Joaquin Richards is saying about the fact that one of his science teachers wasn’t seriously injured in a Monday train wreck.

Vivian Martin’s Nissan Pathfinder was struck by a train shortly after noon Monday directly across the street from the high school on Lee Road 243. The railroad intersection with Lee Road 927 lacks train lights and crossing guard arms.

The dark green SUV was destroyed and appeared to have been struck twice, with the most extreme damage appearing near the rear passenger door and the front driver’s side.

Though the train collision caused heavy damage to Martin’s vehicle, the science teacher escaped without any serious injuries, Lee County Superintendent Mac McCoy said.

“I think we’re very fortunate, and she’s very blessed to be with us and unscathed. I know she’s probably sore, she’s gotta be,” McCoy said. “We’re all scrambling to find out where we can get what kind of car she had.”

Martin has not returned to work, Smiths Station High School Principal Joaquin Richards said. But school officials are happy to give her plenty of time to recover.

She was released Tuesday from the Midtown Medical Center, according to Columbus Regional. Students return for the 2014-15 year for Lee County schools on Tuesday.

“I’m not sure what doctor’s orders she had, how many days they recommend after this sort of thing,” Richards said. “But after what happened I certainly wouldn’t expect her to return to work immediately. It was certainly incredible and there are lot of folks that are amazed. Hand of God, is what it was.”

McCoy said Monday that the train company plans to install safety lights and crossing guard bars by mid-fall.