Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 3 weeks
Badge # Not available
Cause: Struck by train
Sheriff John Summerlin was killed when his vehicle was struck by a train at a railroad crossing one mile east of Crestview.
A representative from the state hospital, in Chattahoochee, had gone to Crestview in order to accompany a man back to the hospital who had been declared insane. The representative requested that Sheriff Summerlin accompany him to the man's home in order to retrieve him. An acquaintance of the man, who happened to be at the sheriff's office, also accompanied them.
When they arrived at the subject's home they retrieved him and a relative. All five men were returning to the Crestview train station in order to drop the hospital representative and subject on the next train. As they approached a railroad crossing the train struck their vehicle.
One of the occupants was able to jump from the car before it was struck, but Sheriff Summerlin and the other three occupants remained in the vehicle. Sheriff Summerlin was killed instantly and the other three serious injuries. All three died with a short time later.
Sheriff Summerlin had been elected sheriff during the previous election and had been sworn in only three weeks prior.