Christopher K. Burkett died attempting to save Shirley Treadwell from being struck by a train, Forsyth, Georgia, November 10, 2021. At dusk, a caretaker, 66, was in the driver’s seat and Treadwell, 93, was in the front, passenger seat of a vehicle that became stuck at a railroad crossing near a house in a rural area as a train approached at 39 m.p.h. As the train track followed a curve approaching the scene, the train was not visible from the crossing beyond about 300 feet, or about five seconds, away. Burkett, 47, a production supervisor, who lived on the property, was repairing a fence near the crossing with a friend when they became aware that the vehicle was stuck and heard the train. Burkett and the friend ran to the vehicle’s passenger side, which was on the opposite side of the approaching train, and, with difficulty, opened the front, passenger door and worked to free Treadwell. As the train quickly neared, the friend moved off the track to safety; Burkett remained at the vehicle’s passenger side. The train then struck the vehicle, propelling it about 100 feet. The caretaker and Treadwell, who both suffered fatal injuries, were found on the ground on one side of the track. Burkett, who was thrown to the other side of the track, was pronounced dead at the scene of blunt-force injuries.92070-10342
Christopher Kenneth Burkett was granted his angel wings on November 10th, 2021. He gave selflessly of his time and talents throughout his life, up until his very last breath. Through his actions, Chris gave us all the hope and courage, and reminded us all of t he preciousness of life.
Chris was born on August 14th, 1974, in Columbus, Georgia, to Ferriel Ray and Darlene Burkett. Like his father, Chris took an immediate interest in working with his hands and spending time outdoors.
Chris worked for over 20 years Diversified Fabricators, Inc. in Griffin, Georgia, where he was most recently a Production Supervisor. Prior tot hat, Chris served as a volunteer firefighter. But in reality, Chris worked for us all, as he was always there to lend a hand, no matter the time of day, to help those who were in need.
Chris was an avid outdoorsman, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, or simply taking in the wonders of nature. He loved working with his hands, often just to create things to give away to his friends.
Many will recall that Chris survived a devastating tornado in April of 2020. Even after losing everything he owned in the disaster, he would often say “I don’t know why I survived that tornado, but it must be for something important.” A few months later, he and his brother discovered that they had a sister, Angie, and that began what would become the most magical year and a half of their collective lives.
Chris is survived by his son Dakota and daughter Lindsay; grandchildren Conner, Madison, Sawyer, and Trevor; sister Angie Brown and her husband Keith; brother Scott Burkett and his fiancé Lisa Gilman; nephew Caleb Brown; nieces Katie and Sarah Burkett; his loving canine companions, Kiah and Lucy, and more special friends than one can possibly imagine.