Grandmother - Grandson Hit, Killed By Train - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Grandmother - Grandson Hit, Killed By Train

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Jan Yeager, the younger sister of Wanda Shirley, who was killed instantly Saturday morning when the CSX train struck her passenger's side door. Jan Yeager, the younger sister of Wanda Shirley, who was killed instantly Saturday morning when the CSX train struck her passenger's side door.

by Brent Frazier

CHAPEL HILL, Tenn. - Loved ones just assumed breast cancer would claim the life of Wanda Shirley, not the railroad track in front of her home that she'd crossed a thousand times.

"She didn't wear glasses," said Jan Yeager, the younger sister of Wanda Shirley, who was killed instantly Saturday morning when the CSX train struck her passenger's side door.

"She didn't have any trouble hearing, so I just don't know what happened," Yeager added.

Just one week before Christmas, word of Shirley's sudden death is doubly troubling to this Marshall County family, given that Wanda Shirley's 8-year-old grandson, Michael Polk, a third-grader at Chapel Hill Elementary, was also killed in the collision. He was a passenger in his grandmother's car.

Jan Yeager said her older sister, 61, and the young boy were practically inseparable; that Wanda Shirley had pretty much raised Michael Polk and his two older brothers as her own children, though the boys' mother, Charlotte Etherly, is part of their lives and beside herself, according to family members.

"The older son is taking it really hard," Jan Yeager shared with NewsChannel 5 on Saturday evening.

"Their mother, she's devastated because she lost her mother and her baby in the same day."

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the crash that occurred near Holt's Corner Market, just north of Chapel Hill, right in front of the house Wanda Shirley had lived in the last 20-plus years, according to her sister.

Funeral arrangements for grandmother and grandson are incomplete at this time.

 

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